SWARTHMORE, Pa. - New measures are being put in place in Pennsylvania and Delaware to slow the spread of coronavirus, but not all towns and counties are following Philadelphia’s lead.
On Gay Street in West Chester, cars have been replaced by tables, tents and heaters.
Outdoor dining threw a lifeline to restaurants, but now the cold and a fierce rebound of COVID-19 are a dual threat.
“We’ve got a strong take out business and we’ll probably hunker down and wait for the warmer weather,” Sofia Michael, manager at OPA, stated.
Unlike Philadelphia, Chester County, despite a recent jump in positive COVID tests, will not ban indoor gatherings of non-household members, or halt indoor dining.
It’s neighbor, Delaware County, also facing a spike in positive tests, says it will not follow Philadelphia’s lead.
But, now there are new mandates from the state.
“This virus has certainly taught us we are all interconnected. It is our collective responsibility to protect communities and our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19, that’s not changed,” commented Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Doctor Rachel Levine.
What will change, beginning Friday, November 20, is anyone visiting Pennsylvania must have a clean COVID-19 test 72 hours before arriving. Same for residents who leave and return, or all must quarantine 14 days. Masks must go on and stay on inside when away from household members, even in private homes.
Secretary Levine says there will be no penalties, just the chance of catching a potentially killer virus.
“People will have the consequences of their actions as well as families and communities,” Dr. Levine added.
Along the commercial strips of cities and towns, merchants are prepping for a long, cold winter, hoping new restrictions won’t make it tougher.
“The mayor said she wasn’t going to do anything, yet, so we’re waiting to see what happens and not worry about it,” Michael remarked.
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