PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced temporary COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted Monday. That means indoor dining can resume and gyms can reopen in some areas.

And in New Jersey, youth sports will be allowed to resume this weekend.

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These were temporary measures designed to control the spread of COVID through the holidays.

It’s too early to say if they worked, but governors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania today said there was no need to extend the restrictions.

“The fight against this dangerous disease is not over. We all need to stay the course,” Gov. Wolf said.

Wolf is still urging caution as he announced the lifting of certain restrictions in Pennsylvania.

Activities and businesses reopening Jan. 4 include:

  • Indoor dining
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • Theaters
  • In-person sports
  • Extracurricular school activities

“This does not mean that we’re out of the woods,” Wolf said.

The planned lifting of restrictions comes as cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania have plateaued, along with hospitalizations and deaths.

“If we get complacent and let case numbers go back up, the danger to our communities, to our families, to our health care system will return with swift and deadly consequences,” Wolf said.

“We are not relaxing all the mitigation orders. Many mitigation orders continue,” Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

That includes mask-wearing requirements and capacity limits on gatherings and businesses.

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“We can all have hope that next year we are going to be in a lot better place,” Wolf said.

Much of that hope is focused on the vaccines, but the process has been much slower than expected.

“Our vaccine allocation from the federal government does fluctuate from week to week and the delivery schedule fluctuates,” Levine said.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a ban on indoor youth sports would be lifted on Jan. 2.

“We know that sports are important for both physical and mental wellness of our youth,” he said.

All other COVID restrictions in New Jersey remain in effect, including limits on the number of people allowed to gather inside.

Today’s announcements do not impact Philadelphia. Restrictions in the city remain in effect through Jan. 15. That includes a ban on most indoor activities.


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Stephanie Stahl