Pennsylvania amends capacity rules for indoor, outdoor events

Coronavirus

The new rules go into effect Friday

Credit: SDI Productions/E+/GettyImages

(WYTV) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine amended their orders for limiting capacity at events and gatherings.

Starting Friday, the amended orders will allow for venue occupancy limits to play a bigger role in determining the number of people permitted both inside and outside of events or gatherings. This includes rules for fairs, festivals and concerts.

This does not include groups who share a space for ordinary operations, like classrooms or office buildings.

The orders amend two sections of the July 15 mitigation orders and include a “maximum occupancy calculator” for both indoor and outdoor events. Based on a venue’s established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code, venues apply the appropriate percent of occupancy to determine how many attendees are permitted to attend an event or gathering.

Here are the calculators:

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for indoor events:

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Indoor Rate  
0 – 2,000 people 20% of Maximum Occupancy 
2,001 – 10,000 people 15% of Maximum Occupancy 
Over 10,000 people 10% of Maximum Occupancy up to 3,750 people 

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for outdoor events:

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Outdoor Rate  
0 – 2,000 people 25% of Maximum Occupancy 
2,001 – 10,000 people  20% of Maximum Occupancy 
Over 10,000 people 15% of Maximum Occupancy up to 7,500 people 

Venues must require attendees to comply with six-foot social distancing requirements, to wear masks or face coverings, and to implement best practices such as timed entry, multiple entries and exit points, multiple restrooms, and hygiene stations.

Venues and event planners can review the CDC Events and Gatherings Readiness and Planning Tool for additional information regarding best practices.

Pennsylvania’s restrictions have been the center of a lawsuit.

A federal appeals court has temporarily restored Pennsylvania’s pandemic restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, putting on hold a judge’s ruling that threw out statewide limits on crowd size.

On Thursday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the administration of Gov. Wolf may once again enforce size limits on gatherings while it appeals the lower court order.

“We will closely monitor cases and outbreaks and 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,” Dr. Levine said. “Public health and safety are our first concern and will always remain as such.”

Any gathering restrictions established by local authorities, such as the ones established in Philadelphia and State College, remain in effect.

 View the governor’s amended order here.

View the secretary’s amended order here.

View FAQs about the amended orders on safe gatherings.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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