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Gov. Wolf orders all businesses that aren’t ‘life-sustaining’ to close, will enforce order

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine during a Friday evening press conference. (Photo: PA Internet News Service)

By Angela Couloumbis Spotlight PA

Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that he is extending his shutdown order to apply to all but “life-sustaining” businesses as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.

The governor had previously asked nonessential businesses such as salons, theaters, and entertainment venues to close. Under the new order, life-sustaining businesses that may continue physical operations include gas stations, farms, health care facilities, and transit systems, according to the Wolf administration.

“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” Wolf said in a statement. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And, we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”

Restaurants and bars were previously required to stop all dine-in services. Those will still be allowed to offer take-out services, the governor’s office said.

Wolf previously had said that his administration would not enforce shutdown orders, and that he was relying on “self-enforcement” by businesses.

That will now change.

“Enforcement actions will be taken against non-life sustaining businesses that are out of compliance effective March 21, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.,” according to the order signed by Wolf.

The order takes effect immediately and will remain in place “until further notice.”

Read the order

See a list of industries and where they stand


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