Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced all 67 Pennsylvania counties will be under stay-at-home orders effective tonight, Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m.
“This is the most prudent option to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our commonwealth, where cases continue to grow daily,” Gov. Wolf said. “We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians; we are in this together and this statewide stay-at-home order is being made after many discussions with multiple state agencies; Dr. Levine; and state, county and local officials as we continue to monitor the most effective ways to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Previously, there were 33 counties on statewide stay-at-home orders. The first orders were issued on March 23 for seven counties.
The statewide stay-at-home order takes effect at 8 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and will continue until April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice and non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect. All essential state services will continue.
“This statewide stay-at-home order is not just to protect ourselves from exposure to COVID-19, but it protects those on the front lines,” Dr. Levine said. “Our doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMTs need us to do this. And the CNAs who are taking care of our family in nursing or long-term care facilities need us to do this. Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home.”
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 institutions
Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this order but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.
International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.
The Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students to schools in the coming days.
At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit:https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.