Gov. Wolf orders non-essential businesses to close to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Written by on March 20, 2020

By Tyler Pratt

March 20, 2020

Pennsylvania’s governor asked businesses to close in an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus on Monday. Now, after a spike in the number of cases in the state, Governor Tom Wolf has ordered many to shut down their brick and mortar operations. WLVR’s Tyler Pratt has more. 

Earlier this week Governor Wolf mandated all bars and restaurants close their dine in facilities and switch to take out only. And he urged all non-essential businesses to close. 

“I had hoped for voluntary compliance so our public safety -officials could focus on assisting with the crisis. Unfortunately, we have not seen full compliance,” said Wolf.

That’s Wolf speaking yesterday evening when he ordered all quote “non-life sustaining” businesses in the state close their physical locations a few hours later.

“With every minute that passes more Pennsylvanians come into contact with the COVID-19 viruses the spread of COVID-19 is Increasing at an exponential pace.w e cannot allow this virus to overwhelm our hospitals. 

So what is a “life-sustaining” business? The governor put out a five-page spreadsheet labeling what can continue to operate: Hospitals & grocery stores. Also, hardware stores, farms, news outlets, the post office, and most transportation services are clear to keep operations going. 

Dry cleaners, clothing stores, real estate offices, and car dealers will have to close their doors. 

Manufacturing gets tricky: Cement and plastic companies are clear. Glass and clay, closed. As are most textile mills and apparel manufacturing.

Wolf encouraged many businesses to go: online. Indefinitely. 

“I’ve heard from business owners and workers that they are worried about the financial repercussions of a closure. I’m aware of it. And my administration is already working every channel to find ways to support businesses and workers,” said Wolf.

One of the resources Wolf is touting is low interest loans for small businesses and nonprofits. With rates around 3 – 4 percent 

Wolf says he will begin enforcement of his order Saturday at midnight. And he’s directed state agencies, like the liquor control board, departments of health and agriculture- and the state police to impose it. 


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