WPGA Announcements Regarding COVID-19
By WPGA • March 15, 2020
Updated July 3, 2020
Allegheny County Health Department Suspends Gatherings of More Than 25 People
Please see the following announcement from the Allegheny Health Department regarding closures and gatherings. This applies only to Allegheny County.
"On July 2, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen announced a one-week closure of bars, restaurants and casinos, and the cancellation of all activities or events over 25 people for that same one-week time period. Food establishments may still offer take-out and delivery during that time period. The order is effective on July 3, 2020 at 12:01 AM. Read the full order here."
Updated July 2, 2020
Secretary of Health Signs Expanded Mask-Wearing Order • Full Announcement
Accordingly, on this date, July 1, 2020, to protect the public from the spread of COVID19, I hereby order:
Section l : Face Coverings Defined
"Face covering" means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A "face covering" can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. For purposes of this order, a face covering includes a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth. "Face coverings" may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or be improvised from household items, including but not limited to, scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. While procedural and surgical masks intended for healthcare providers and first responders meet these requirements, such as N95 respirators, these specialized masks should be reserved for appropriate occupational and health care settings.
Section 2: Face Coverings Required
Except as provided in Section 3, individuals are required to wear face coverings if they are:
A. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not members of their household;
B. in any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted;
C. waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle;
D. obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank; or
E. engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of the person's own household or residence, are present when unable to physically distance.
Section 3: Exceptions to Face Covering Requirement
A. The following are exceptions to the face covering requirement in Section 2:
i. Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition, or disability;
ii. Individuals for whom wearing a mask while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines;
iii. Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance;
iv. Individuals who are under two years of age;
v. Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
B. Individuals are not required to show documentation that an exception applies.
Section 4: Prior Orders
This Order is intended to be read in concert with my Order Relating to Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations, dated April 15, 2020, and with the Govemor's and my Orders for the Continued Reopening of the Commonwealth, dated May 27, 2020.
Section 5: Effective Date
This Order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.
Rachel Levine, MD
Secretary of Health
New Guidance for Golf Courses During COVID-19
Updated May 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM
This afternoon the WPGA received additional guidance regarding golf in the Commonwealth from Governor Wolf’s office through the Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf. In counties currently in the yellow and green phases of reopening, golf carts can now be shared (2 people per cart) and the use of caddies is allowed. Single occupancy in a golf cart is required for counties in the red phase.
As far as operations, courses in a county currently in the yellow and are permitted to open and have in-person operations. On June 5, if the course has a restaurant outdoor dining is permitted at 50% capacity.
On entering the green phase of reopening, courses are also permitted to open and have in-person operations. On June 5, courses with a restaurant may offer indoor dining at 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing.
All operations must follow current guidance to keep employees and customers safe.
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 throughout the region. We thank you for your patience as information becomes available. Please reach out to the WPGA with any questions.
Updated May 8, 2020 at 1:15 PM
Effective May 7, 2020, the Governor’s Office added the following clarification for golf courses operating in Pennsylvania.
• Golf courses are now permitted to allow occupants of the same residence to share a golf cart.
• Golf courses located in counties that have been designated as being in the Yellow Phase of Reopening may conduct in-person operations as long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public. Please see those guidelines here.
We will continue to update you as we learn more from the Governor’s Office. As always, feel free to reach out to the WPGA with any questions.
Updated May 1, 2020 at 10:00 AM
On March 18, 2020, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board issued Advisory Notice No. 26, which provided guidance to licensees as to what type of activities were permissible during the state of emergency announced by Governor Wolf in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Generally, that guidance included direction to all licensees that allowing on-premises consumption of alcohol and/or food could result in the suspension of their liquor license. Sales of alcohol and food for off-premises consumption were permitted for those licensees whose licenses authorized such sales.
On March 19, 2020, the Governor ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses, such as golf courses, to close.
On April 27, 2020, the Governor announced that, effective May 1, certain businesses that provide for outdoor activities, such as golf courses and marinas, could reopen.
Please click here for the full updated Guidance from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Guidelines for a Safe Reopening of Golf
Updated April 30, 2020 at 6:00 PM
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf embraces the opportunities for the successful reopening of golf, and maintaining a safe environment for all staff and golfers to maintain our open status during this pandemic. Even in these unprecedented times, with the COVID-19 threat affecting all aspects of life as we know it, golf is available as an outlet for people to exercise and provides one of the few respites from the confines of home. With vast areas of open space containing green grass, ponds and trees, a golf course can provide the ability for social distancing.
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf is committed to doing all it can to support our constituents by being a resource of information and a clearinghouse of best practices that will provide guidance to any and all facilities, operators, golf professionals, club officials and stewards of the game. As golfers and industry operators, let’s all do our part to keep the game and our loved ones safe.
Please refer to the document below for a comprehensive guide to help safely reopen your club: Guidelines for a Safe Reopening of Golf (Updated 5/8/20 at 4:15 PM).
Updated April 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Golf Set to Reopen in Pennsylvania
Starting Friday, May 1st, golf courses may open in Pennsylvania as part of a statewide reopening of outdoor recreational activities. Golf courses must follow the life-sustaining business guidelines put in place by the Governor’s Office. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance for outdoor recreation and these guidelines must be followed.
The Governor’s Office has further specified the following:
“Beginning May 1, 2020, golf courses operators may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind and appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly abided. Golf carts may be utilized, but must be single occupant only. No employees are allowed for the purposes of facilitating play; however operations such as landscape maintenance and other 'services to building and dwellings’ may continue as necessary to prevent deterioration of property condition. Restaurant activity is limited to take-out or delivery only, and use of facilities for banquets or similar gatherings remains prohibited."
We will continue to update you on golf-related topics as we learn more. Feel free to reach out at any time with questions.
Updated April 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Due to the extension of the Stay-at-Home order issued by Governor Wolfe yesterday, all WPGA activities will now be postponed until May 8. This includes all meetings, club visits, and WPGA Play Days. We will work to reschedule these activities. The Association office will also remain closed will our staff working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact us at any time.
Updated April 1, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Due to the extension of the Stay-at-Home order issued by Governor Wolf for the state, all WPGA activities will be postponed until May 1. This includes Club Rep Day scheduled for Monday, April 27, and all WPGA Committee meetings. The Association office is also closed at this time with our staff all working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact us at any time.
Updated March 22, 2020 at 5:30 PM
As of this this afternoon, 3/22, we have received an important clarification from the Commonwealth.
Regarding maintenance, we’ve been informed that the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has confirmed that landscaping has been included under “essential services” and that superintendents may continue maintaining the grounds at this time.
March 21, 2020 at 12:15 PM
Thursday evening, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a shutdown order to all “non-life sustaining” businesses. The order mandated that the physical locations of these businesses had to close by 8 PM that evening to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In conjunction with golf associations and professional organizations in the Commonwealth, we sent a letter to the Governor’s Office with the assistance of a lobbyist at the Capital asking for an exemption for a golf club’s "field of play" from this order, meaning the physical golf course could remain open for players.
Unfortunately, our request has been denied. All golf courses in Pennsylvania must close with enforcement beginning Monday. We are awaiting more information as to what exactly can and can not be done in terms of maintenance or other work at the club. We will continue to send updates as we find out more information.
As a reminder, full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places may continue to operate for takeout only so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are employed to protect workers and patrons.
We thank you for your patience as this information is gathered. As your Allied Golf Association, we remain committed to working on your behalf during these difficult times. Please contact the WPGA at any time if you have any questions or would like additional information.
March 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Due to the constantly changing landscape as a result of COVID-19, the WPGA has decided to postpone all activities through April 15. This includes all remaining World Handicap System Workshops and the WPGA/TSPGA Junior Golf Night. All registered attendees of events prior to April 15 will receive notice of the cancellation. We will work with the host clubs to reschedule the events on a case-by-case basis.
As of now, this suspension will have no effect on the 2020 WPGA Competition schedule or WPGA Play Days. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep you updated on any changes to future events.
The WPGA office will remain open during this time to assist our member clubs and members as usual but will be closed to the public.
As an Association, the health and safety of our members, volunteers, players, and staff is a top priority. Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please contact the WPGA at any time.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.