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24 Nov, 2020 03:36

‘The virus is doing this, not me’: Pennsylvania governor BANS alcohol on Thanksgiving eve to halt Covid-19 spread

‘The virus is doing this, not me’: Pennsylvania governor BANS alcohol on Thanksgiving eve to halt Covid-19 spread

Pennsylvanians looking to get tipsy at pre-Thanksgiving celebrations may be sorely disappointed after the governor ordered bars and restaurants to halt alcohol sales ahead of the holiday, part of a series of new Covid-19 measures.

Governor Tom Wolf announced a raft of new containment policies on Monday, imposing limits on the size of gatherings while advising residents to leave home only for “essential needs,” pointing to the “dangerous situation” posed by the coronavirus.

Among other restrictions, the ramped-up measures will also force not only bars and restaurants, but all privately catered events, to end alcohol sales by 5pm on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving – what Wolf called the biggest drinking day of the year.

“The virus is what’s doing this. It’s not me. It’s not the administration. It’s not the government,” Wolf said, voicing reluctance to impose a new lockdown, but adding elsewhere: “As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe.”

The new rules, which include calls to local police to step up enforcement, do not state exactly when the ban on booze sales would lift, though suggested it would only be in force on Wednesday night.

READ MORE: What does a 'superspreader' look like? Scientists identify physical features that could boost Covid-19 transmission

Many netizens catching wind of the alcohol ban met the news with disappointment, some calling the move “insanity,” while another questioned who the real ‘enemy’ was – “A virus? Alcoholism? Freedom?”

“Pennsylvania is banning alcohol sales the night before Thanksgiving in an attempt to stop coronavirus from spreading,” one user wrote. “We went from 14 days to stop the spread back in March to prohibition of alcohol sales in November. When will enough of this insanity finally be enough?”

To date, Pennsylvania has tallied more than 320,000 coronavirus infections in total, as well as nearly 9,900 deaths, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. The state sits well below some of the US’ worst hot spots, such as Texas and California, as the whole country nears a total of 12.5 million cases and 258,000 fatalities.

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