To slow the spread of the coronavirus, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their physical locations March 19. York Daily Record
The Wolf administration has reportedly laid off close to 2,500 part-time and seasonal employees and interns as a result of the coronavirus’ economic impact, according to Spotlight PA.
The workers were placed on “leave without pay” on Friday and it is unclear when they will be called back to work, Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office of Administration told Spotlight reporters.
It is not clear exactly what all the departments affected by this were, but some include revenue and transportation, and seasonal workers, include the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Employees for the state health and labor departments were reportedly not impacted.
This news comes almost a week after Wolf imposed a general hiring freeze in an attempt to limit state government spending as it seeks to deal with the coronavirus and the impact it is having on the state.
On Sunday, Wolf also requested President Donald Trump declare Pa. a “major disaster area” due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 3,394 people in the state, according to the Department of Health’s most recent numbers.
Wolf is asking Trump for additional support for state, county and municipal governments, nonprofits and individuals.
If Wolf’s request is approved, the federal support will provide extensions to the same emergency protective measures available under the nationwide emergency proclamation: Individual assistance programs Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program; and Statewide Hazard Mitigation, according to the release.
So far, the coronavirus’ biggest impact on Pennsylvanians has been the closure of all “non-life-sustaining” businesses in the state.
“Many of the industries listed as ‘non-life-sustaining businesses’ in the governor’s order are in fact part of supply chain for other businesses listed as being a ‘life-sustaining’ business,” chamber president Gene Barr said.
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