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Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statewide stay-at-home order initially effective until April 30. It was extended for all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties until 12:01 a.m. on May 8. The stay-at-home order will apply to counties in the red phase of the state’s reopening plan until June 4.
On May 8, 24 counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening. In the yellow or "aggressive mitigation" phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction are lifted while limits on gathering size and closures of certain businesses remain in place.
Wolf announced that 13 more counties will move to the yellow phase on May 15.
Under the stay-at-home order, residents are allowed to leave their homes for a few select reasons, such as "tasks essential to maintain health and safety" and "getting necessary services or supplies."
Wolf updated the stay-at-home order guidance on April 4 to encourage religious leaders to "find alternatives to in-person gatherings," especially in light of holidays like Easter and Passover.
Schools across the state will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Meals will still be available for pickup at designated sites, and teachers are encouraged to provide "continuity of education."
Wolf also announced that $50 million in state funding will be spent to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency workers.
Wolf ordered the state Department of Corrections to establish a "Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration," which would release eligible non-violent and vulnerable individuals from the state corrections system starting as early as April 14. Those granted temporary reprieves would be equipped with reentry plans and monitored similarly to parolees.
Wolf announced a $450 million loan program for "financially strained" hospitals in the state, for costs incurred between March 1 and September 1.
The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
Businesses that collect Pennsylvania state tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax prepayments in April, May and June.
The Department of Revenue extended the deadline to file state personal income tax returns to July 15, and delayed the due date for corporations with tax returns due in May to August 14. The department is offering additional temporary relief measures for taxpayers through at least July 15.
Wolf announced the creation of a new Task Force for Health Disparity to address how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the state’s minority populations.
The Department of Health issued an order establishing stricter protocols for essential workers at businesses maintaining in-person operations.
Wolf has recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear masks when outside the home.
The Department of Human Services is issuing emergency SNAP benefits to eligible households for March and April, to be distributed as a supplemental one-time payment before April 29.
On April 18, Wolf announced nearly $16 million in funding for Pennsylvania food banks.
Wolf signed a bill on April 20 enabling auto dealerships to conduct limited car sales and leasing operations online. That same day, he permitted the curbside pickup of wine and spirits at certain Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board locations, and said construction projects may resume in adherence with strict guidelines on May 8.
Wolf signed a bill helping local governments and businesses respond to the outbreak by providing flexibility on property tax deadlines and allowing remote public meetings and notarization.
Wolf is encouraging registered voters to apply for mail-in ballots for the June 2 primary. They must do so by May 26, and the new deadline to register to vote for the primary is May 18.
Wolf’s three-phase "Plan for Pennsylvania" emphasizes relief, reopening and recovery. On April 22, he outlined a plan for the state’s phased reopening with a targeted May 8 start. As regions move from the red phase to the yellow phase, certain restrictions will be loosened.
Drivers license and other deadlines have been extended through May 31.
Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately-owned campgrounds may reopen, following specific guidance, starting May 1. Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through May 14.
Wolf signed a bill allowing National Guard members who contract COVID-19 as a result of being called into active duty to be covered under the Heart and Lung Act, which offers additional workers’ compensation benefits.
Nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 Pennsylvania hospitals through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program.
On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
In the yellow phase, the stay-at-home order is lifted but restrictions on social and economic activities remain. Telework must continue whenever feasible. In-person retail is allowable, but curbside and delivery services are preferable. Restaurants and bars remain limited to takeout and delivery. Indoor recreation, health and wellness, personal care service and entertainment facilities will stay closed. Child care can open in adherence to state guidelines, but congregate care and prison restrictions will remain in place. Gatherings larger than 25 people are prohibited.
Wolf released business guidance for counties entering the yellow phase. Businesses newly permitted to conduct in-person operations must follow requirements for sanitation and disinfecting the premises, limiting occupancy, providing masks for employees and enforcing social distancing.
On May 6, Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, a public service initiative that will support COVID-19 recovery efforts in the fall. It is designed to increase testing and contact tracing efforts and provide new job opportunities in the public health sector.
Wolf signed an executive order providing civil immunity to health care workers responding to COVID-19.
A May 7 executive order protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures and evictions through July 10. A state Supreme Court ruling had previously closed court eviction proceedings until May 11 and ensured no renter or homeowner would be removed from their home for 60 more days.
On May 11, Wolf announced consequences for counties that do not abide by stay-at-home order. Non-compliant counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. Businesses risk losing their liability insurance, and dine-in restaurants risk receiving citations that could ultimately lead to loss of their liquor license. Wolf said that in counties opening prematurely, employees who do not feel comfortable returning to work can continue receiving unemployment compensation.
The state Department of Health announced a universal testing strategy for nursing home staff and residents on May 12, as part of the statewide enhanced testing strategy. Any patient returning to a long-term care facility from a hospital must be tested for COVID-19.
For a full breakdown of all coronavirus related restrictions by state, please click the link HERE