Jul. 16, 2020

HAZLETON – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) called the latest COVID-19 restrictions imposed statewide by Gov. Tom Wolf as an attack on small business owners.

“This is a blatant attack on small businesses in every county in Pennsylvania, regardless of the scientific data, and it came with no warning,” said Toohil. “This is not based on science. People are not dying in bars. They are dying in nursing homes. This new shutdown is un-American.”

Under the governor’s order, bars and restaurants are limited to 25% occupancy, events and gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors, and all businesses able to do so are required to work remotely.

Toohil said she has heard from frustrated business owners, including one that wanted to remain anonymous, who spent millions to open a bar and restaurant just months before the pandemic.

“I am demoralized and disgusted,” he told her. “I was not consulted. The governor couldn’t give any notice so we could make plans? This does not feel like a democracy.”

Toohil said that if the governor’s intent in closing bars is to stop COVID-19 super-spreaders from infecting others, that goal can be achieved by limiting seating and practicing social distancing. She also thinks it is unfair to impose statewide restrictions when many counties, including Luzerne County, have been doing a good job in mitigating the spread of the virus.

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat called the governor’s order “ridiculous.”

“It’s a shame that the faith-based community and the restaurant industry are being targeted again without any plan to reimburse for lost inventory while the casinos and big box stores get the opportunity to crush the family-owned corner stores,” said Cusat.
Wolf’s new restrictions took effect today.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil