PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Restaurants in Allegheny County finally got the news they were waiting for.
The Allegheny County Health Department rescinded its previous order and issued a new one more in line with the state’s recent restrictions on bars and restaurants.
The new order took effect at 5 p.m. Friday and puts all of the state’s provisions in effect — like allowing indoor dining at 25 percent capacity and banning alcohol consumption unless its served with a meal — with some exceptions.
DeLuca’s Diner in the Strip is ready for serve its guests breakfast indoors and outdoors tomorrow. They typically can seat 125 people, but with the 25 percent order, that’s about 37 total.
“At 25 percent, that’s basically every three tables you gotta skip before you can seat a table,” said DeLuca’s server Mary Kelly.
Inside Mike’s Beer Bar on the North Side, owner Mike Sukitch was getting the chairs ready. He’s had outdoor dining for awhile now.
“We were able to get nine tables, and with a sidewalk permit extension, another six so we had 15 tables. We consolidated two businesses, so we are working a food menu from North Shore Tavern and a beer menu from Mike’s in order to give our guests the best of both worlds,” said Sukitch.
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Some restaurants like Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville won’t be opening up to indoor dining on Friday. They say they’re waiting until the first week of August just to be on the safe side. However, Franktuary across the street is ready.
“We always wear gloves, masks, take our temperature before our shift starts, log it,” said Franktuary Bartender Danny Bortfield.
Despite all the rapid changes, restaurants say they’ll keep going.
“By the seat of our pants. One day at a time. Keep a smile on your face and keep ’em guessing,” said Kelly.
There are a couple of other restrictions the county ordered. One of those restrictions is indoor and outdoor dining must stop at 11 p.m., but takeout is allowed after that.
The county health department also says the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is still prohibited at indoor and outdoor dining, as well as the casino.
Events and gatherings are limited to 25 people indoor and 50 people outdoor in Allegheny County. The statewide order allows outdoor gatherings of up to 250.
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The sate’s order also mandates telework if possible.
Gov. Wolf says there are three “catalysts” for increases in cases in Pennsylvania.
He says people out at bars and restaurants aren’t wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines. He’s also pointing to people traveling out of state — both people coming back to Pennsylvania and people visiting Pennsylvania — and “a lack of national coordination.”
Today I’m announcing new statewide #COVID19 restrictions, effective 7/16:
🔹 All indoor dining: Reduced to 25% capacity
🔹 Bars: Open for sit-down meals at tables only, bar service prohibited
🔹 Telework: Mandated (if possible)
🔹 Gatherings: < 25 people indoor, < 250 outdoor
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) July 15, 2020
The Allegheny County Health Department blamed a surge in cases on people who were coming back from vacations to hotspot areas and spreading the virus in packed bars and restaurants.
“I feel like restaurants are a little bit like the guinea pig of everything that’s going on because we get told, ‘do this’ and then five days later, it changes,” said Radomir Klipa, the executive chef and general manage of The Wooden Nickel.
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