On Tuesday 10/6, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that event crowd sizes in Pennsylvania will be greatly increased beginning Friday 10/9. For months, events have been limited to a maximum of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors. Beginning Friday, depending on the maximum occupancy of the venue, events can have as many as 3,750 people indoors and 7,500 outdoors. Below is a list of the new crowd limits as a percentage of a venue’s maximum occupancy:
Indoors Max. occupancy up to 2,000 people: 20% Max. occupancy 2,001-10,000 people: 15% Max. occupancy greater than 10,000 people: 10% (3,750 cap)
Outdoors Max. occupancy up to 2,000 people: 25% Max. occupancy 2,001-10,000 people: 20% Max. occupancy more than 10,000 people: 15% (7,500 cap)
Pennsylvanians shouldn’t throw all of their money at StubHub just yet. According to Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, “if our case investigation and contact tracing efforts determine that events or gatherings are the source of an outbreak, we can and will dial back these new limits.”
Philadelphia, which throughout the pandemic has had stricter precautions than most of the state, will continue to evaluate whether they will increase crowd limits throughout the city and to what extent. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley has said the city should have an update on Tuesday 10/13.
While all this is taking place, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether crowd restrictions imposed by the governor are constitutional. Previously, a US District Judge had ruled against the restrictions, claiming that they violated a citizen’s right to assemble. The appeals court returned to Gov. Wolf his ability to enforce crowd limits until the court rules on this case.
StraightforWARD Legal Advice: Events must continue to enforce social distancing, mask wearing, and other previously in-place COVID precautions. As mentioned above, crowd limits in the state may change, so venues should remain alert to new guidance. Crowd limit changes do not apply to the “regularly occurring operation of a business or organization” that occurs in offices, schools, and manufacturing, which are governed by separate regulations. If you have any questions regarding COVID guidance in Pennsylvania, please contact Jennifer Ward at 215-647-6601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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