Pennsylvania high school and youth sports will be shut down for three weeks, Governor Tom Wolf announced on Thursday, amid continually rising cases in the state and an expected surge over the holiday season.
Wolf made the announcement on Thursday as part of a sweeping set of changes that also include shuttering in-person dining, gyms, movie theaters and other restrictions. The new orders will go into effect on Saturday and remain in effect through Jan. 4.
“Today I am announcing additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitigation measures in the commonwealth,” Wolf, who has recently contracted the virus himself, said in a press release. “With these measures in place, we hope to accomplish three goals: First, stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. Second, keep our hospitals and health care workers from becoming overwhelmed. And third, help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season – and closer to a widely available vaccine – as safely as possible. This is a bridge to a better future in Pennsylvania.”
The changes are not expected to impact professional or collegiate sports, without spectators. The WPIAL basketball, swimming and diving and wrestling seasons, which were expected to start this week, will be pushed back to January.