On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that all non-life-sustaining businesses across the state must shut down effective immediately. Pennsylvania joins California, another state that has taken similar powerful measures to brace for and hopefully alleviate the increase in cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. For the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents, Gov. Wolf made the crucial decision to act now before coronavirus spreads more widely.
Wolf gave a similar order earlier this week, urging nonessential businesses to close voluntarily. While some businesses heeded the order, others did not. The latest order comes with a strict warning that noncompliant businesses could face penalties beginning on Saturday.
Life-sustaining businesses that will remain open include grocery stores, gas stations, farms, and transit systems. Hotels will also remain open, especially because some are housing doctors and medical staff who are helping with the virus. Pennsylvania restaurants and bars had previously stopped dine-in service, though they will be allowed to continue takeout or delivery services.
Businesses in Pennsylvania that must close all physical operations include car dealers, lawn and garden stores, and furniture stores. This also includes offices that provide legal, accounting, and tax services.
Although this order will be extremely difficult for businesses and cause economic harm to the state, Gov. Wolf made the difficult decision for the health and well-being of Pennsylvania residents. COVID-19 cases across the state reached 185 earlier on Thursday, and the state’s first death was reported on Wednesday.
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