WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — At least four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania will be facing new restrictions this week as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Leaders told KDKA’s Nicole Ford that the announcement is expected to come on Wednesday and will impact the restaurant industry, as well as the number of people allowed to gather in a group, in Washington, Butler, Beaver and Westmoreland counties.
“At this point, I just don’t know what to expect,” said Nikki Steffl, the manager at Napoli Restaurant in Washington County.
Steffl said their Bridgeville location took a hit after Allegheny County shut down restaurants for one week.
“They are actually doing less sales in the second closure than the first, and that’s what we are expecting to happen here,” Steffl said.
Business owners across the region fear the same order will come from the state this week.
“We want everyone to be safe, but this is my livelihood,” said David Lamatrice, who owns Bistecca Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine called county leaders in Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland and Washington to discuss rising coronavirus cases.
“Our cases are rising at a much quicker rate than they did back in March, which was considered the peak for us,” said Washington Co. Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan.
While Washington Co. commissioners wouldn’t confirm the specifics, leaders in Beaver and Westmoreland counties told KDKA that the state is taking a targeted approach to stop the spread of cases by shutting down indoor dining starting Thursday.
“I have to cancel all my food orders. I have orders coming in, all my wine orders coming in. It’s a lot, not even just for me, but my staff. All of a sudden, they have two weeks to worry about how they are going to make money and the rest of the things,” Lamatrice said.
Lamatrice told KDKA he owns another business downtown that has been closed since March and he can’t manage takeout at Bistecca so he’s going to have to close his doors again.
“It’s just really disappointing, again with notice and no idea for how long,” Lamatrice said.
County leaders hope the targeted mitigation efforts help stop the rising case numbers without hurting the local economy.
“I’m going to encourage Washington County residents to do all they can to support that industry and to ask those individuals to hang in there,” said Vaughan.