From left, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and Gov. Tom Wolf From left, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and Gov. Tom Wolf

HARRISBURG, PA—Earlier this week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that all 67 Pennsylvania counties will be under stay-at-home orders in order to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.

The stay at home order went into effective April 1 at 8 p.m. Previously, there were 33 counties on stay-at-home orders. The first orders were issued on March 23 for seven counties.

The statewide stay-at-home order will continue until April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice and non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect, while all essential state services will continue.

“This is the most prudent option to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our commonwealth, where cases continue to grow daily,” Gov. Wolf said. “We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians; we are in this together and this statewide stay-at-home order is being made after many discussions with multiple state agencies; Dr. Levine; and state, county and local officials as we continue to monitor the most effective ways to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“This statewide stay-at-home order is not just to protect ourselves from exposure to COVID-19, but it protects those on the front lines,” Dr. Levine said. “Our doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMTs need us to do this. And the CNAs who are taking care of our family in nursing or long-term care facilities need us to do this. Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home.”

The following operations are exempt:

• Life-sustaining business activities;

• Health care or medical services providers;

• Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks;

• Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: 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;

• News media

• Law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters;

• The federal government and

• Religious institutions.