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Pennsylvania is resuming alcohol sales online while the state's liquor stores remain dark to limit the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s website began accepting a limited number of online orders per day, two weeks after liquor stores across the state closed up shop as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s expanding shutdown.
However, buyer demand overwhelmed the site only moments after sales started, and customers were greeted with an announcement urging them to check back later.
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“We understand the public wants to have access to wines and spirits during these unprecedented times, but we have a responsibility to mitigate community spread of this virus to every extent possible and make sure our employees and our customers are as safe as they can be,” board chairman Tim Holden said. “We believe that re-opening FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com in a controlled manner will allow us to provide access to consumers while also protecting our employees and consumers from unnecessary risk.”
Holden previously cautioned that he knew store closings will hurt consumers and licensees, but that fighting the public health crisis must take priority.