With centers closing, seniors are faced with social isolation and meal take-out and delivery options become important. York Daily Record
Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday issued a stay-at-home order for York County and eight other counties to try and stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
As of 8 p.m. Friday, residents in nine more counties are ordered to stay at home unless it’s essential to go out: Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.
The best way to stop the spread of disease and protect hospitals from being overwhelmed is to make all Pennsylvanians stay home, he said.
His order remains in effect until April 6.
The latest round brings the state total to 19 of 67 counties with stay-at-home orders.
The announcement came on the same day that Pennsylvania reached 2,218 positive cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths.
A day earlier, the state reported 170 hospitalizations.
Tracking coronavirus: An interactive map of active cases
What it means
Staying at home is the main rule of a shelter-in-place order, but it doesn’t mean you can’t go outside.
The order allows people to venture out for food, gas, medical appointments, shared custody drop-offs and pick-ups, and exercise. And Pennsylvanians who are employed by essential businesses can still go to work.
When going outdoors is needed, people are told to use social distancing and stay at least 6 feet apart from each other.
Philadelphia at 8 a.m. Monday went into its own shelter-in-place order after Mayor Jim Kenney issued the plan Sunday. And Wolf followed with an order for Philadelphia County and surrounding counties. He has added counties to the list throughout the week, but has not initiated a statewide order.
Several states have statewide stay-at-home orders: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Connecticut, Louisiana, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
As of this past week, more than 160 million Americans are living under stay-at-home orders.
The purpose of his order is to keep people away from each other and enforce the social distancing everyone was asked to do by the nation’s top medical experts. Social distancing limits the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
While going outside is OK, being near other people puts everyone at risk of being infected. COVID-19 tests show people can have the coronavirus and not have symptoms, unknowingly spreading it to people who may be sickened and hospitalized.
What is allowed under the stay-at-home orders in Pa.?
- 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
- Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.
Who is exempt from the order?
- 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
- The federal government
- Religious institutions
How will it be enforced?
At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement.
To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station.
Do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports.
Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.
Candy Woodall is a reporter for the USA Today Network. She can be reached at 717-480-1783 or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.
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