PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The on-site consumption of alcohol has been banned at bars and restaurants in Allegheny County as Coronavirus case numbers have spiked within the last week.
Allegheny County officials are saying that bars are one reason that we are seeing large increases in positive cases of COVID-19.
Officials are pointing out two local areas that they say are a concern — Oakland and Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Because of the recent surge in new Coronavirus cases, officials have decided to not allow people to consume alcohol at bars.
The bars and restaurants can however continue to serve food on-site and offer to-go cocktails.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says since COVID-19 cases were first confirmed in the state, Allegheny County has led the state in the number of new cases.
Fitzgerald says that things are trending in the wrong direction and that changes must be made.
Masks are still required for all businesses, meaning that they must be worn in restaurants when seated and can only be taken off when eating and drinking.
If any bar violates the order, officials say they will be investigated and will be ordered to close for at least one week.
“We have seen some alarming spikes. We have seen more cases in the last two days than in the previous two weeks,” Fitzgerald said.
“It’s not fair to my staff. A lot of them were on unemployment, they came off unemployment. Now they’re going to have to go back on unemployment,” said Richard Rattner, owner of William Penn Tavern.
The order for bars to end on-site serving of alcohol went into effect immediately. Enforcement of the order will begin Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.