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Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation And Enforcement

November 23, 2020

Section 9: Requirements for Events and Gatherings

A.       Venues hosting events or gatherings must determine their established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code and then apply the attendee calculator to determine how many attendees are permitted to attend the event or gathering.

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for indoor events:

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Indoor Rate
0-2,000 people10% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 - 10,000 people5% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 peopleNo events over 500 people

ii.         Maximum Occupancy Calculator for outdoor events:

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Outdoor Rate
0-2,000 people15% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 - 10,000 people 10% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people5% of Maximum Occupancy up to 2,500 people

B.         When no fire code capacity is published or available for outdoor events or gatherings venues, establish occupancy as 67 people per 1000 square feet and then apply the maximum occupancy calculator.  Venues may also contact their local building code officials if they are unaware of their occupancy limit). 

C.         For the purposes of this Order, "event and gathering" is defined as: A temporary grouping of individuals for defined purposes, that takes place over a limited timeframe, such as hours or days. For example, events and gatherings include fairs, festivals, concerts, or shows and groupings that occur within larger, more permanent businesses, such as shows or performances within amusement parks, individual showings of movies on a single screen/auditorium within a multiplex, business meetings or conferences, or each party or reception within a multi-room venue.

D.      The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

E       Venues must require attendees to comply with 6-foot physical distancing requirements, to wear masks or face coverings in compliance with my Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings, including any subsequent amendments,  and implement best practices such as timed entry, multiple entry and exit points, multiple restrooms and hygiene stations. Venues and event planners may refer to the CDC Events and Gatherings Readiness and Planning Tool for additional information regarding best practices. 

View the full Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation And Enforcement.