n an attempt to combat the surge in Covid-19 cases in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Thursday temporary measures to prohibit indoor dining in restaurants, the closure of casinos and theaters and a halt to scholastic sports.
Therefore, the state's 12 casinos will be closing Saturday as part of the state's new coronavirus restrictions, the state's Gaming Control Board said in a statement.
The following casinos will stop all gaming activities and not allow customers inside by 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12:
Rivers Casino Philadelphia closed Nov. 20, as required by an order from the City of Philadelphia, Erie News Now reports. Casinos will be allowed to reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
Yesterday I announced additional, temporary COVID mitigation measures for Pennsylvania.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) December 11, 2020
The new restrictions begin Saturday and will be in effect until 8 a.m. January 4. Learn more about the new measures here ⤵️ https://t.co/58QHZfGNdP
The closures do not effect other forms of gaming regulated by the Gaming Control Board offered online including casino-type games, sports wagering and fantasy contests.
In a news conference, Wolf said he is imposing other limits on all businesses serving the public, capping retailers, barber shops and salons and other businesses to 50% of indoor occupancy limits. Gyms and fitness centers can offer outdoor classes but cannot offer indoor operations.
Restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries can remain open to offer outdoor dining, carryout and delivery services, Pennlive reports. Extracurricular activities at K-12 schools are suspended. Pro and college sports can continue but spectators won’t be allowed.
“We need to slow the spread right now to save lives,” Wolf said.
Most entertainment venues will be closed during that three-week span, including concert venues, movie theaters, museums, private clubs, arcades and bowling alleys.
The governor announced the steps as COVID-19 cases have soared in the commonwealth. Wolf said Wednesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus; he spoke via video from his home. During Thursday’s news conference, Wolf said he has since had a negative test for the virus.
Cases have surged in recent weeks and hospitalizations have risen sharply, according to the state Department of Health and local health care officials. The state has reported more than 10,000 new daily coronavirus cases five times in the past week, including nearly 12,000 new cases Thursday. More deaths have been reported in recent days.
Wolf said the temporary measures, while painful, can make a difference and urged Pennsylvanians to be united over the next few weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to help hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
“I’m asking we work together to turn the tide of this surge so that our communities can safely bridge the gap between where we stand today and when a vaccine is widely available,” Wolf said.