PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This Easter Sunday marks a milestone in Pennsylvania’s road to recovery from COVID-19.
Sunday is when the state’s indoor gathering limit for restaurants and businesses increases to 75 percent capacity. A local doctor says opening up is necessary, but there could be a major surge if people are not careful.READ MORE: Eviction Moratorium Update: With CDC Extension Unlikely, What Will Happen To Renters?
“I’m not sure that loosening restrictions has to be rethought, but it has to be done thoughtfully and carefully,” said Allegheny Health Network primary care physician Dr. Jennifer Preiss.
On Sunday, alcoholic drinks no longer have to be bought with a meal on the side, and full bar service can also resume.
“Most importantly, it’s getting the team members back to work. We had a huge beverage department. Only a few of them are back. But being able to bring back all of our team, we are excited about it,” said Bud Green, the assistant general manager at Rivers Casino.
The casino’s events center has barely been booked. While the gaming floor is still busy, it’s not nearly what it once was. And a new restaurant that opened in January has been waiting for customers.READ MORE: Whitehall Man Who Threatened To Attack CIA Pleads Guilty To Gun, Explosive Charges
“The guest will be able to go to any of the bars on the property and not have to buy food and actually be able to sit at a bar,” Green said.
Six feet of social distancing will still be in place, some areas will still have restricted access and masks still must be worn. Dr. Preiss said those rules must continue to apply to every business to avoid a surge in cases.
“I think if we are too quick in opening things up and giving patients and people false hope that everything is going to be exactly the way it was prior to COVID, I think that’s wrong because I think we’re going to see a spike,” Dr. Preiss said.
And if a spike happens, the doctor fears we could be right back where we started.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Tornado Warnings Issued For Parts Of Westmoreland, Fayette, Somerset Counties
“Is it better to open up and draw back or is it better to be a little more thoughtful about how we open up things?” Dr. Preiss said.