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BREAKING: Gov. Wolf announces new statewide mitigation efforts involving restaurants, bars and gatherings

July 15, 2020 News Extra

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Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Wednesday imposing statewide mitigations, further affecting bars, restaurants and gatherings.

“If we do nothing, we are going to overwhelm our health care system,” Wolf said. “That's why we have to act right now.”

Wolf's order reduces indoor capacity of restaurants by 25 percent while rules regarding outdoor dining will remain the same. The order also prohibits businesses from operating if their sole purpose is serving alcohol, such as nightclubs. The order continues to allow carry-out cocktails and beverage sales.

“Telework must be implemented whenever possible,” Wolf also said in a news conference Wednesday.

Also according to the order, indoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people while outdoor gatherings will continue at a maximum of 250 people.

“I want people to spend time together, but I want them to do so while practicing social distancing, while they're wearing masks when required,” Wolf said.

This is a breaking news report — subscribe online or in print to read the full story in Thursday's Butler Eagle.

COVID-19 Regional Update: County confirmed cases drops by 1

Butler County saw a subtraction of one confirmed case from its total, bringing a slight reprieve from a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

The county's total now drops to 403 confirmed cases.

Nate Wardle, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the subtraction of cases happens occasionally.

“As we conduct case investigations, we work to determine the county of residence for an individual who tested positive,” he said. “Sometimes, the county of residence is not the same as what was reported on the lab submission form, and that means that the data changes.”

It was unclear what would come from the news conference, but another item being reported Tuesday and Wednesday was the Trump administration's decision to remove control of federal reporting for the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The reporting of COVID-19 cases at the federal level will now be streamlined to one reporting system controlled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The change would also not hinder or affect state-level reporting requirements.

“For us, nothing changes,” said Butler Health System spokeswoman Jana Panther.

The following numbers on the coronavirus pandemic were compiled from regular news releases from the state Department of Health and the Butler Health System.

Tuesday's COVID-19 statistics:

Butler County

Confirmed cases: 403

Probable cases: 41

Negative tests: 8,928

Deaths: 13

Butler Memorial Hospital

Inpatients: 3

Suspected: 2

Confirmed: 1

ICU: 1

Total tests: 11,494

Outdoor tests: 4,477

Positive tests: 276

Clarion Hospital

Inpatients: 1

Suspected: 0

Confirmed: 1

ICU: 0

Total tests: 2,290

Outdoor tests: 1,643

Positive tests: 63

Pennsylvania

New cases: 994

Total cases: 97,665

New deaths: 26

Total deaths: 6,957

Recovered: 76 percent

Surrounding Counties

Allegheny: 5,417 confirmed cases; 81,645 negative; and 201 deaths

Armstrong: 94 confirmed; 2,880 negative; and 6 deaths

Beaver: 858 confirmed; 8,369 negative; and 79 deaths

Clarion: 64 confirmed; 1,451 negative; and 2 deaths

Lawrence: 181 confirmed; 3,791 negative; and 9 deaths

Mercer: 178 confirmed; 5,848 negative; and 6 deaths

Venango: 33 confirmed and 2,037 negative

Westmoreland: 1,025 confirmed; 23,112 negative; and 39 deaths.

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