TARGETED MITIGATION Guidelines in PA
Updated July 23, 2020
Hello again! Here is another update on what the current event guidelines are and how we are operating.
The most important item to note is that we are operating successful, safe, and happy events! Hurray! Many venues have had to close and cancel all events because they do not have the proper outdoor space. Our exclusive venue Flourtown Country Club has a beautiful deck, which we have tented at our expense, as well as many other outdoor areas for events. Many of our preferred properties have also tented their gorgeous spaces to allow for events, and we are operating a ton in private homes.
Please read our FAQs (see below). Our sales managers are working so hard planning, re-planning and selling events. We understand all of our clients have questions. We are asking you to carefully review the below information and the FAQs because we are trying to answer 99% of your questions below. If you do have questions specific to your event, which we know you will, please give our sales and events team a little extra time to respond. They are getting several hundred emails per week in regard to the ever-changing guidelines. Check back here often for updates!
We appreciate your business and support during these unprecedented times. We will continue to update this information as we have it, typically weekly.
Kind Regards, Melissa McDevitt and Laura Kidwell, Managing Partners
Guidance for Businesses in the Restaurant Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster
On July 15, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders for targeted mitigation efforts in response to the recent rise in COVID cases, primarily in southwest Pennsylvania, but also in other counties in the state, influencing the decision for statewide mitigation efforts for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework. The new orders took effect at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, July 16, 2020.
All businesses in the retail food services industry are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance including:
- Require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout space. Face coverings may be removed while seated, or when outdoors and able to socially distance.
- Provide at least six feet between parties at tables
- Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas for discrete gatherings and events which may be held within the restaurant, facility, or venue, such as weddings, and catered events. In the Yellow and Green Phases of reopening, discrete gatherings are limited to 25 individuals inside and 250 outside.
- Train all employees on the importance and expectation of increased frequency of handwashing
- Implement procedures to increase cleaning and sanitizing frequency in the back of house. Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants.
- If live musicians are performing they must remain at least six feet from patrons and staff.
- Verify that dishwashing machines are operating at the required wash, rinse and sanitize temperatures and with appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
- All buffets and stations must be served
- Masks must be worn entering, exiting and traveling thorugh facility. Masks must be worn outside when you cannot socially distance. You do not need to wear a mask when eating or drinking.
Additional Seedling + Sage Catering Provisions:
- All buffets must be served, silverware wrapped, no foods preset on tables prior to guests being seated
- Established and published a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan- Pandemic Promise
- Allow no more than 10 people at a table, unless they are a family from the same household.
Targeted Mitigation Order – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have my event? Yes, events are permitted but must follow the current guidelines
Are private catered 25 people or 25% indoors?
For example, when a graduation party or wedding is held in a local hall and catered, do those events adhere to the 25 person limit or the 25 percent maximum capacity for indoor dining? A wedding or graduation party would be considered an event and therefore limited to 25 indoors/250 outdoors
Can event guests order from a bar? Are there any changes?
Yes, as long as the bar is outdoors and all guests have a dedicated seat to sit in for their meal. We will not open beer bottles at this time for safety reasons, so we have switched to cans at our exclusive properties.
Can I have a buffet or stations?
Yes, as long as it is served
Can I have a dancefloor?
Yes, there can be no food and beverage on the dancefloor because masks must be worn. Musicians must be at least 6 feet from dancefloor since band members may not be able to wear a mask.
Do I need a mask for my Father/Daughter dance?
Can we use real plateware and glassware for our event instead of disposable?
Yes. We cannot refill glasses, or reuse plates for a buffet.
Will our staff wear masks and gloves?
It is mandatory for our team to wear a mask or face shield. We wear gloves when serving food and we change them often. We also encourage continual hand washing.
Can a reception be held in a large facility with more than 25 people?
The limitation on indoor events or gatherings is not based on occupancy of a particular square footage. It is only defined by the number of people congregated together for that event. However, venues with multiple event spaces may have two events of 25 people or less at one time. If hosting multiple events organizers should be mindful of shared spaces like hallways or bathrooms where attendees may congregate.
How should events with both indoor and outdoor components be handled?
Events with both indoor and outdoor components can have 250 people as long as no more than 25 people are inside at one time. Outdoor events should have a plan for rain including making umbrellas available to prevent guests from simply moving inside.
What is the definition of indoor vs. outdoor dining? Would a tent with walls be considered outdoor?
Indoor dining occurs in a fully or largely enclosed (2-walls or more) space. On the other hand, outdoor dining occurs in a completely or largely open air space (open on three sides). A tent is allowed for outdoor dining or events; however, the commonwealth encourages tents to not be fully enclosed which would limit air circulation and undo the benefits of being outdoors.
How is this Order being enforced?
PA State Police, PA Liquor Control Board, Dept of Agriculture and local law enforcement are all enforcing violations of business restrictions, particularly those relative to restaurants and liquor licenses.