Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

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March 20, 2020 8:07 AM

Wolf Orders Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses to Close

Governor Wolf has ordered all businesses except for those considered life-critical to close at 8 pm tonight. A list of those business can be found by clicking on the link provided. The State will begin to take enforcement actions this Saturday, March 21 at 12:01 a.m. Governor Wolf emphasized that these actions are being taken "to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians"

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Latest Update:

April 6, 2020 10:25 AM

On April 3, Governor Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask if they must leave their homes.

Members of the general public don’t need a surgical mask – we need those for our health care workers and first responders. Instead, they are encouraged to wear homemade fabric or cloth masks.

Homemade masks limit the spread of infectious droplets in the air by containing coughs and sneezes.
When a homemade mask can’t be acquired a scarf or bandana can be utilized. By implementing
community use of these homemade fabric or cloth masks, everyone will have a higher degree of
protection from this virus.

When to Wear a Mask
Those who are staying home and have no close contacts who are infected with COIVID-19 don’t
need a mask most of the time. However, wearing a nonmedical or homemade mask may be helpful
in certain situations or for certain populations.

Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies.
While visiting your health care provider.
Traveling on public transportation.
Interacting with customers/clients at essential businesses.
When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.
Because homemade masks protect everyone else from the droplets created by the wearer, it is
important that as many people as possible wear these masks when leaving their homes.

This helps prevent those who may be infectious but are only mildly symptomatic or not symptomatic from spreading the virus to others in the community.

Everyone should remember the phrase: “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.” By increasing the overall number of people who are containing their coughs, sneezes, and other droplets, it will help us control the overall spread of the virus.

More Information

Prior Updates

March 31, 2020 8:50 AM

As COVID-19 cases continue to grow and the state continues to seek relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, today Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders to include Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill counties, bringing the state total to 26 counties under a stay-at-home order. This order takes effect at 8 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2020, and will continue until April 30. All stay-at-home orders are now extended through April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice. Non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect.

The order now includes these 26 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
To care for a family member or pet in another household
Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
Travel required by law enforcement or court order
Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.
The following operations are exempt:

Life-sustaining business activities
Health care or medical services providers
Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders
News media
Law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters
The federal government
Religious institution

March 23, 2020 12:12 PM

Below, please see a press release from 8 p.m. 3/20 announcing that, due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Governor will be pushing enforcement of the order to Monday, March 23rd, at 8:00 a.m.

WAIVER EXTENSION, REVISED TIMING OF ENFORCEMENT: Monday, March 23 at 8:00 AM


Harrisburg, PA – Due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Wolf Administration is delaying enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order and the Secretary of Health’s order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Per Governor Wolf’s and Dr. Levine’s orders, businesses that were non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19, at 8:00 PM. This order stands, only the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM.

Those businesses requesting clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should check this list, email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) customer service resource account at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select option 1 to reach DCED staff. For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application.

When a business completes a waiver form, a team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified via email if their operations may re-open. Businesses applying for a waiver must remain closed until a decision is made about their application.

DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.