Allegheny County’s Stricter Safety Guidelines Could Change Following State’s New Order

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department says they are keeping more restrictive coronavirus safety guidelines in place while they review a new order from the governor’s office.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced restrictions Wednesday on bars, restaurants and large gatherings.

Those restrictions include shutting down nightclubs, closing bars unless they offer dine-in meals, and limiting those bars and restaurants to 25% capacity.

However, the county announced stricter guidelines back on July 8.

KDKA has confirmed talks between the county health department and restaurant owners to bring the county in line with a new statewide order allowing indoor dining at 25 percent capacity.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald tells KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan this a “strong possibility,” citing positive news about the falling rate of positive infections in the county from COVID-19.

Health Director Deborah Bogen now says she will make an announcement on the restrictions tomorrow. Some restaurant owners tell KDKA they’re expecting that announcement to allow them to resume indoor dining service this weekend.

The county Health Department is optimistic that restrictions put in place three weeks ago are paying off. Today was the third day in a row where the positive case rate fell under 10 percent. That’s the first time since June 28th when numbers spiked.

Those requirements are:

• Indoor dining or alcohol consumption at bars, restaurants, or any other business establishments in Allegheny County is prohibited;
• Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic;
• Customers are subject to a three (3) drink maximum for dine-in service at outdoor seating areas;
• Dine-in service at outdoor seating is permitted until 11 p.m.;
• The use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited at outdoor dining facilities and indoors at casinos; and
• Events and gatherings of more than 50 persons outdoors in Allegheny County are prohibited.

Following Gov. Wolf’s announcement, County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen is reviewing the department’s own guidelines.

Until then, the county’s guidelines remain in place.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic: