Updated: May 8, 2020
Pennsylvania’s Stay at Home Order was amended in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to remain in effect through May 8, 2020, at which point 24 counties began reopening pursuant to the state’s three-phased Reopening Plan. Additional order amendments were signed to open an additional eight counties as of May 15, 2020 while extending the Stay at Home Order for the remaining counties until June 4, 2020.
Updated: April 27, 2020
Amendment to Governor’s Stay at Home Order
As of April 20, 2020, Pennsylvania’s Stay at Home Order was amended to remain in effect through May 8, 2020. No other changes were made. The state also updated its life-sustaining business list and guidance on April 27, 2020 and began enforcement efforts with fines issued to non-life-sustaining businesses violating the closure order.
Updated: April 1, 2020
- The Governor’s Stay at Home Order dated April 1, 2020 supersedes all previous Stay at Home orders and now requires all individuals residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (no longer just those in certain counties) to stay at home except as needed to access, support or provide life-sustaining business, emergency, or government services, as provided in the CISA List or updated list of life sustaining businesses.
- The current Stay at Home Order is in effect until April 30, 2020.
- The business closure guidance document has been updated.
- As provided in the updated business closure guidance, the exemption process to seek designation as life-sustaining business has closed as of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020.
Governor’s Stay at Home Order
Department of Health Secretary’s Stay at Home Order
A series of interrelated orders were issued in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: (1) the Business Closure Order on March 19, 2020 and (2) the Stay at Home Order on March 23, 2020 as amended on March 24, 2020. The Governor’s Business Closure Order ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses throughout Pennsylvania to close their physical locations. The Stay at Home Order, as amended, ordered only residents of nine specified counties—Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia—to stay at home except to access, support, or provide life-sustaining business, emergency, or government services. The Stay at Home Order may be expanded to include additional counties. Pennsylvania maintains a list of business types indicating whether they may or may not continue physical operations as life-sustaining. According to the Stay at Home Order Guidance issued by the Governor’s office, the list has been updated to conform with the CISA List. Closed businesses that believe they provide a life-sustaining service may seek a waiver from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to re-open.
Summary of Order
- The Business Closure Order was issued on March 19, 2020 and took effect at 8:00 p.m. the same day. The Business Closure Order remains in effect indefinitely until further notice.
- The Stay at Home Order was issued on March 23, 2020 and took effect at 8:00 p.m. the same day. The Amendment to the Stay at Home Order was issued on March 24, 2020 and took effect at and took effect March 25, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. The Stay at Home Order as amended will remain in effect until April 6, 2020.
- “Life-sustaining business activities” are exempt from both orders. Businesses can determine whether they are considered a life-sustaining business, and are therefore allowed to continue in-person, physical operations, by first referring to the list of life-sustaining businesses.
- This list has been updated to conform with guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure issued by the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory.
- Process to Seek Designation as Life-Sustaining Business: Businesses that were ordered closed but believe they should be open for providing a life-sustaining service may apply for a waiver by emailing the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pennsylvania issued guidance documents for the Business Closure Order and for the Stay at Home Order.
- In guidance documents for the orders, the Commonwealth indicates that the Stay at Home Order is not intended to affect the operations of the following:
- Health care or medical service providers
- Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including, but not limited to, food banks
- Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open
- News media
- Law enforcement
- Federal government
- Religious institutions
Social Distancing Requirements
- Individuals leaving their home or place of residence to access, support, or provide life sustaining services for themselves, another person, or a pet must employ social distancing practices as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Health strongly encourages individuals to abide by the following social distancing requirements to the greatest extent reasonably possible:
- Maintain at least six feet from other individuals
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a sleeve or elbow, not hands
- Do not shake hands
- Regularly clean high-contact surface areas
- Prior to issuing the Business Closure Order, Governor Tom Wolf indicated that compliance would be “self-enforced” and that “[t]his is not your government mandating anything. This is your fellow public servants telling you what the right way to handle this public health crisis is.” The Governor also indicated that there would not be enforcement by state police or the National Guard.
- For the Stay at Home Order, the Governor has indicated that law enforcement will be focused on social distancing practices awareness rather than enforcement and that non-compliant business can be reported by contacting a local law enforcement non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station (but not 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development).
Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):
- Healthcare / Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
- Food and Agriculture
- Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
- Water and Wastewater
- Transportation and Logistics
- Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
- Communications and Information Technology
- Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
- Critical Manufacturing
- Hazardous Materials
- Financial Services
- Defense Industrial Base
- Commercial Facilities
- Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
- Hygiene Products and Services