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COVID 19 Business Closure Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 19, 2020

THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA REGARDING THE CLOSURE OF ALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE NOT LIFE SUSTAINING

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) have declared a novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a “public health emergency of international concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Secretary has declared that COVID-19 creates a public health emergency;

and WHEREAS, as of March 6, 2020, I proclaimed the existence of a disaster emergency throughout the Commonwealth pursuant to 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(c);

and WHEREAS, I am charged with the responsibility to address dangers facing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that result from disasters. 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(a);

and WHEREAS, in addition to general powers, during a disaster emergency I am authorized specifically to control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons within it and the occupancy of premises therein; and suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, and combustibles. 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(f);

and WHEREAS, in executing the extraordinary powers outlined above, I am further authorized during a disaster emergency to issue, amend and rescind executive orders, proclamations and regulations and those directives shall have the force and effect of law. 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(b);

and WHEREAS, in addition to my authority, my Secretary of Health has the authority to determine and employ the most efficient and practical means for the prevention and suppression of disease. 71 P.S. § 532(a), 71 P.S. 1403(a);

and WHEREAS, these means include isolation, quarantine, and any other control measure needed. 35 P.S. § 521.5.

NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me and my Administration by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I do hereby ORDER and PROCLAIM as follows:

Section 1: Prohibition on Operation of Businesses that are not Life Sustaining

All prior orders and guidance regarding business closures are hereby superseded. No person or entity shall operate a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a life sustaining business regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public. This prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations (e.g., work from home), so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are followed in such operations.

Life sustaining businesses may remain open, but they must follow, at a minimum, the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the Centers for Disease Control to protect workers and patrons. A list of life sustaining businesses that may remain open is attached to and incorporated into this Order.

Enforcement actions will be taken against non-life sustaining businesses that are out of compliance effective March 21, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

Section 2: Prohibition on Dine-In Facilities including Restaurants and Bars

All restaurants and bars previously have been ordered to close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue, so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are employed to protect workers and patrons. Enforcement actions will be taken against businesses that are out of compliance effective March 19, 2020 at 8 p.m.

Section 3: Effective Date and Duration

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.

GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the city of Harrisburg, on this nineteenth day of March two thousand twenty, the year of the commonwealth the two hundred and forty-fourth.

Tom Wolf
Governor

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