On the Monday of Thanksgiving week, Pennsylvania health officials announced that people will no longer be able to drink alcohol at bars and restaurants, and will only be allowed to order cocktails to-go, as a way to curb the spread of COVID-19. This temporary suspension went into effect on Wednesday at 5 pm and lasted through Thursday at 8 pm. Officials effectuated this rule because they are aware of the many that like to go out and have alcoholic beverages before thanksgiving day.
According to Governor Tom Wolf, “When people get together in that situation, it leads to an increase in the exchange of fluids, that leads to an increase in infection.” Health Dr. Rachel Levine, like many, is concerned about the fact that COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are rising daily; on Saturday a total of 7,000 new cases were reported. Many bars and tavern owners were angered by this temporary suspension as recently business had been hard for them. Many criticize that even though there have been many lockdowns in place causing bars and restaurants to temporarily close, they have received no financial help from the government. Teddy Sourias, who owns five bars and restaurants in Center City, including Tradesman’s and Finn McCool’s, claims, “Every single day of sales counts right now and they take away another day. People will gather on the biggest party night of the year regardless. At least our restaurants we would have provided them with a safer option since we have trained staff and all these guidelines in place to protect them.” Even so, after announcing the temporary suspension of the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants Levine announced that there will be an advisory stay-at-home, along with minimizing the number of people in indoor events and outdoor events, as well as keeping restaurants and bar capacity at a minimum. All these efforts are put in place as a way to stop and slow down the spread of COVID-19.