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Governor Wolf Announces Pennsylvania School and Non-Life-Sustaining Business Closure “Until Further Notice”

March 30, 2020


On March 30, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on his website that “all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice” and that “non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect.”  This announcement comes on the heels of President Trump’s March 29, 2020 announcement that the federal government was extending its stay-at-home guidelines until April 30th.  Governor Wolf did not change any of the exemptions to his order or the definition of “life-sustaining” business activities.  As cases continue to rise on a daily basis, the Commonwealth “continues to seek relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Governor Wolf also announced that he had extended his March 18th Stay at Home Order through April 30th and extended it to four additional counties as of 8:00 pm on March 30th: Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, and Schuylkill Counties.  Twenty-six counties in Pennsylvania are now under the stay-at-home order.

Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order only permits residents to leave home for the following reasons:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home;
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing;
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business;
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household;
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities;
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction;
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order;
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth; and
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

Given the extension of the COVID-19 guidance at the federal and state level, Pennsylvania companies should continue to evaluate the impact of these closures on their workforce and business.  Businesses looking to make changes to their workforce should consult an attorney regarding the federal or state law issues to consider.  Montgomery McCracken’s attorneys are available to readily advise and assist clients.  Visit the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center for more information and updates on this constantly evolving situation.