Today, Wolf declared every resident in the state is now issued a stay-at-home order, which will last until at least April 30.
“We want our friends and our families to be safe. We will all work together in this,” said Wolf at a digital press conference. “If we don't do everything we need to do to slow the spread of COVID-19, then we might not see our friends again.”
Wolf noted that Pennsylvania has seen 74 deaths caused by COVID-19 so far. He said the stay-at-home order was to help keep that number as low as possible. “Do we want to see that climb to 7,400 and 74,000?” said Wolf.
As of today, there are 5,805 positive cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania. The state saw 962 additional cases since yesterday. Out of the state’s 67 counties, so far 60 have reported at least one positive case of coronavirus.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said at the press conference that the stay-at-home order is necessary to stem the spread of coronavirus.
“I understand that staying home is not easy, but this statewide order from the governor protects not just us staying home, but those on the front lines. They need us to do this,” said Levine.
Wolf has said of stay-at-home orders that people should only leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons, such as buying food, groceries, and pharmaceuticals. This includes life-sustaining goods for pets as well.
Outdoor recreation is allowed under stay-at-home orders, as long as the proper six-foot social distancing is followed.
For the most part, the Greater Pittsburgh region was already under stay-at-home order. Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties were already under the order before today’s announcement. But now, other surrounding counties like Armstrong, Fayette, Greene, and Indiana are under stay-at-home order as well.
Other activities that are still permitted under the stay-at-home order include:
- Transferring life-sustaining goods for oneself, as part of volunteer efforts, or as part of one’s job
- Leaving home to care for a family member, pet, the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable people in another household
- Travel to and/or from schools or educational institutions to receive materials for distance learning, meals, and other related services
- Travel by court order or by law enforcement
- People are allowed to return home if they live in jurisdictions outside the stay-at-home order or outside of Pennsylvania.
But for stay-at-home orders that have been set since last month, the Wolf administration hasn’t created any enforcement mechanisms to apply to individuals. State police officers have been asked to enforce the state’s “non-life-sustaining” business closures, but have only issued a handful of warnings so far.
Wolf said that state police will continue to focus on enforcement of business closures, and not on individual residents.
Below is a list of groups, individuals, and organizations excluded from the stay-at-home order:
Businesses and organizations exempt from the stay-at-home order include:
- Life-sustaining business activities
- Health-care professionals
- Food banks and other life-sustaining goods providers for low-income people
- News media
- Law enforcement
- The federal government
- Religious institutions
- Child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school-age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure orders