Since mid-March, the Keystone State has been ramping up efforts to ease the restrictions that it had to put in place as part of the efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While these efforts played a huge role in the fight against the pandemic, the state had plans to lift some of the mitigation measures within the first week of April.
Over the past few days, there have been increases in the number of infections in the state as acknowledged by Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam on Wednesday. Naturally, this raised some concerns from both health officials and the Biden administration. Despite that, the state is still maintaining its course and will be lifting some of the measures on Sunday.
The health secretary pointed out that this is partly motivated by the progress that the state has made in terms of vaccine rollout. Besides, it will be gradual to allow the state officials to monitor progress and compliance.
“The incremental relaxation that starts on Sunday, especially in the restaurant and bar industry, is not just flipping the switch entirely. It’s allowing us to lightly progress through the relaxation mitigation efforts while closely monitoring how folks are complying.”Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam.
Several notable figures including public health experts and members of the Biden administration are not for this idea. Still, the state is convinced that it will have everything under control.
Wider Vaccine Rollout
One of the biggest priorities for Pennsylvania, as it will be lifting the restrictions on casinos, restaurants, gyms, malls, theatres, and other entertainment facilities, will be the vaccination efforts. The state’s Department of Health has recently added four targeted groups to its current Phase 1A group. These are food and agriculture workers, grocery store workers, law enforcement as well as firefighters.
On April 19, the state will open the eligibility to get the vaccine to anyone who is at least 16 years old, a move that will significantly accelerate the rollout of the vaccine. All that is great for the efforts to bring everything back to normalcy but lots of people are still wondering when employees of entertainment venues and casinos will be eligible.
Well, it seems that the April 19 date will apply to casino workers and other employees at entertainment venues as well. Casino operators don’t seem to have plans to fast-track the process for the employees which is understandable considering the gravity of the matter. Even so, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the state’s economy and this is a huge step forward towards regaining its lost glory.