Wolf updates COVID-19 gathering limits, eliminates out-of-state travel restrictions

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Gov. Tom Wolf 2021 budget address

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday increased maximum occupancy limits and eliminated out-of-state travel restrictions, citing a recent decrease in COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

Wolf, partially attributing the state's progress in combating the spread of COVID-19 to mitigation measures he first implemented nearly a year ago, said indoor events may now fill 15% of the venue's maximum capacity. Outdoor events may fill 20% of the venue's capacity.

In addition, anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state is no longer required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

"We need to balance protecting public health with leading the state to a robust economic recovery. We are lifting mitigation efforts only when we believe it is safe to do so," Wolf said.

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The announcement came as York County reported 244 additional COVID-19 cases over a three-day period, continuing a trend of smaller day-over-day increases.

Of those cases, 105 were reported Saturday, 73 were reported Sunday and 66 were reported Monday. The case total now stands at 35,878.

Three additional deaths were reported over that three-day period, bringing the county's death toll to 722.

Statewide, there were 6,934 cases reported over that time period, bringing the total to 933,270. About 91% of patients have recovered. There were also 89 new deaths. The state's death toll now stands at 24,026.

There have been 3,889,842 patients in the state who have tested negative for COVID-19, 130,445 of whom reside in York County.

Despite decreases in cases, deaths and hospitalizations, health officials nationwide have warned that recently surfaced variants of COVID-19 could prompt a fourth wave of cases.

"We are at that very precarious position that we were right before the fall surge, where anything that could perturb that could give us another surge,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told reporters Friday.

States throughout the nation, including Pennsylvania, have also struggled with a short supply of the COVID-19 vaccines overall.

The Pennsylvania Health Department in particular has come under scrutiny for its rollout of vaccines over what critics allege is a disorganized system for finding and getting shots.

As of Monday, there were 28.6 million COVID-19 cases and 513,000 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there were 114 million cases and 2.5 million deaths.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.