The Keystone State, just like many other states across America is still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Things seemed to have been getting back on track for a moment but that was short-lived thanks to a surge in infections.
Last week, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf who had at about the same time tested positive for COVID-19 announced some new far-reaching restrictions on various businesses across the states. The mitigation order is part of the state’s efforts to contain the new wave of infections and one of its most notable takeaways is the ban of commercial gambling.
All 12 casino operators in the state closed and halted all of their activities from midnight on Saturday, December 12. They will then remain closed for at least three weeks with the earliest possible reopening set for 8:00 am on Monday, January 4.
The activities that have now taken to the sidelines until January 4 include indoor entertainment, in-person dining, bars, gyms, and fitness facilities. For some kinds of indoor and outdoor events, the government of Pennsylvania will be introducing new capacity limits.
According to the governor, the decision is very necessary especially because it is “a bridge to a better future in Pennsylvania.
“With these measures in place, we hope to accomplish three goals. First, stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Second, keep our hospitals and healthcare workers from becoming overwhelmed. And third, help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season — and closer to a widely available vaccine — as safely as possible.”Gov. Tom Wolf.
Thankfully, other forms of gambling that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates will not be affected. These include online casino-type games, fantasy contests as well as sportsbooks.
Some Hopes Thanks to the Vaccine
Perhaps the biggest development in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is the new COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. The wait is finally over as the much-anticipated vaccine has finally made its way to the United States.
Pennsylvania, like all of the other states in the country, already has plans in place – this is clearly outlined in a COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan that has been crafted by state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. First in line for the vaccine will be health care workers, first responders, critical workers, people in long-term care facilities, and people with high-risk conditions. Eventually, everyone else will be able to get the vaccine after the supply increases in the coming weeks or months.
Needless to say, this brings back some hope regarding when things will get back to normal and some businesses can go back to operating as they did before the pandemic.