HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is ordering residents of Pennsylvania's hardest-hit areas to stay home to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus that has sickened hundreds and caused six deaths statewide. He also extended a statewide schools shutdown through at least April 6.
Noting that Philadelphia already ordered residents to remain home, Wolf issued his own stay-at-home order for the counties around the city; for Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh; and for Monroe County in the Pocono Mountains. Those counties account for 75% of Pennsylvania's confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Wolf has imposed progressively tougher measures as state officials say the pandemic threatens to swamp hospitals and spike the death toll.
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
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.
The federal government
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.