Gov. Wolf orders a statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses

Written by on March 16, 2020

Gov. Wolf orders a statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses

By Jen Rehill

March 16, 2020

The Wolf Administration confirms the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Photo |Wolf Administration

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the statewide shutdown of all nonessential government offices and businesses to help prevent spread of coronavirus. 

WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports that order will kick in at midnight. 

Speaking at a news conference this afternoon, Governor Wolf said he was extending the significant mitigation efforts imposed around Philadelphia to the entire state.

“This isn’t a decision that I take lightly at all. It’s one that I’m making because medical experts believe it is the only way that we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients,” said Wolf.

Some state workers will move to remote work. Major closures will include daycares, movie theaters, malls, bars and restaurants – except for takeout orders.

But Wolf says he’s not going to impose a curfew as some other governors have

“I would like people to stay home 24 hours a day, not just between the hours of five and five, some sort of a curfew,” said Wolf.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine says while there are only a few cases of possible community spread so far, that’s going to change.

“We fully expect that we will see sustained community spread and as the Vice President said we want to have very active mitigation efforts before we have sustained community spread,” said Levine.

Governor Wolf says he knows this is a challenging time – but his orders are designed to keep residents safe.

“Be careful out there. We are all in this together. And every decision we make that leads us to touch another human being, be close to another human being, is going to be something that could have consequences we don’t want,” said Wolf.

Pennsylvania is currently reporting 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including two cases in the Lehigh Valley.

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