Pennsylvania Closes Indoor Pools, Halts Youth and High School Sports
The day after he tested positive for a coronavirus infection, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced new statewide COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday afternoon. The new restrictions will take effect at 12:01AM on Saturday, December 12 and will last through 8AM on Monday, January 4, 2021.
While many of the state’s largest cities had previously announced tighten restrictions among rising cases, Wolf previously declined to tighten safety protocols statewide.
The new order temporarily halts school sports and other extracurricular activities, along with other youth sports throughout the state.
The new order reads as follows:
“All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.”
The Pennsylvania Principals Association is recommending a delay of the winter sports season as well, which includes swimming & diving.
That stops both school and club sports from moving forward. That includes a site of the USA Swimming 18 & Under Winter Championships where Pittsburgh Elite Aquatics’ Josh Matheny broke a National Age Group Record on Thursday evening. That meet was originally scheduled to run Friday through Sunday, but now has been collapsed to a Thursday-Friday meet, concluding before the new order takes effect.
Professional and collegiate sports are being allowed to continue, without spectators, ‘in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Department of Health.”
Other New Restrictions in Place:
- Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities, including pools, are prohibited. Outdoor facilites and outdoor classes can continue, but facemasks must be worn.
- All indoor dining throughout the state is closed
- Outdoor dining is allowed to continue, including alcohol sales.
- Indoor gatherings of more than 10 persons are prohibited, with religious services excluded from those orders. Houses of worship are being “strongly encouraged” to find alternative methods to practice amid the rise in cases.
- Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 people are prohibited.
- All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50% of maximum capacity
- All in-person venues in the entertainment industry, including theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, and private clubs, must close.
Pennsylvania has seen a dramatic increase in new coronavirus cases since early October. On October 1, the state’s 7-day rolling average of new coronavirus cases was 980 according to coronavirus data. On Wednesday, that rate was more than 10-times as many, with almost 10,000 new daily cases.
The state is hitting daily records for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 5,852 persons hospitalized as of Wednesday, December 9. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 are also rising: Wednesday recorded 247 deaths, which is the state’s 4th-highest total of the pandemic and most since May 5.
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Source: Swimming – SwimSwam