Dear fellow Allegheny HYP Club Members and Friends:
I do not need to inform you about the looming specter of COVID-19 impacting our community. But things are changing fast: Today’s Post-Gazette headlined yesterday’s announcement “Two tested positive in Allegheny County.” This morning another patient was confirmed. And during a noon conference call today with various Club Board Members, a fourth Allegheny County patient was announced. COVID-19 is here, and we are just at the beginning of its spread through our community.
You have probably read that Pennsylvania officials have recommended that all non-essential businesses shut down in four Eastern PA counties. Governor Wolf has recommended that bars should close and that restaurants should stay open only for carry-out business. Even State Stores in those counties will close Tuesday indefinitely. It stands to reason that these restrictions will likely expand to include Western PA counties, once our patient count increases.
At the National level, per CNN today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, in response to questioning did not rule out supporting a temporary national lockdown of the country's restaurants and bars in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, saying he’d "like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see" in those places. In a time of self-destructive politics, Dr. Fauci’s clear, apolitical guidance is both refreshing—and critical.
Given this environment, out of an abundance of caution for the safety and health of our Members, Staff, and their families, we have reached the difficult decision to close the Club for two weeks, beginning tomorrow, March 16. We will communicate during the week of March 23 regarding the prospects for reopening on March 30. As you know, the COVID-19 environment changes daily and sometimes hourly, and we intend to maintain a conservative posture regarding reopening.
I should note that we are not the first Club to close in the Pittsburgh area. A major Country Club has closed for similar reasons for a similar period.
I personally regret having to make this decision. Our Club is a service organization, and we are voluntarily stopping that service. But only temporarily. These are not normal times. We will get through them together. Please remember to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, home sanitation, and personal hygiene—especially washing hands. These practices will help both you, your family members, and your neighbors in deterring COVID-19.
Thank you for your understanding.
I wish you and your families a healthy outcome to our collective journey.
Wesley W. Posvar (Jr.)
President, Board of Governors
Allegheny HYP Club