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PA issues stay-at-home advisory, and a ban on alcohol sales for Wednesday night

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As part of his administration’s new efforts to stymie the spread of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will ban the sale of alcohol just for the duration of Wednesday night, CBS News 2 Pittsburgh (KDKA) reports.

Restaurants and bars are ordered to stop the sale of alcohol on Wednesday at 5 pm until 8 am on Thursday, with Wolf saying that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the “biggest day for drinking,” according to KDKA. While he recognizes that the pandemic has taken a massive toll on bars and restaurants, he says this one-night ban is necessary. This is coupled with a stay-at-home advisory.

“The thing that we can’t do is ignore reality and say ‘yeah you folks, for no fault of your own, have been hit hardest by this virus.’ But the virus is what’s doing this. It’s not me. It’s not the administration. It’s not the government,” Wolf said.

Coronavirus cases have been spiking across the country—and the world—in recent months, which has led to many states bringing back tougher restrictions to combat the spread.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting 22,000 new coronavirus cases per day in the state and more than 32,000 deaths by February 23. According to Wolf’s office, this number could be halved with if everybody wore masks, KDKA writes.

Furthermore, Wolf said, while citing models’ projections, that if no action is taken, the state will run out of ICU beds in December, per KDKA.

The state’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said that alongside these new restrictions are “targeted protections for businesses and gatherings,” an advisory for Pennsylvanians to remain in their homes, and enforcements on public health orders like the recently strengthened mask mandate, according to KDKA.

“Orders already in place and those announced today will be enforced, and law enforcement and state agencies will be stepping up enforcement efforts, issuing citations and fines and possible regulatory actions for repeat offenders,” Levine said.

“It has to be our collective responsibility to protect our communities, our healthcare workers and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19,” she added.

For Wolf’s full announcement of the new restrictions on Monday on Twitter and more info on these new measures, read his thread below:

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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