PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice as the state’s stay-at-home orders have been extended through April 30. During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Gov. Tom Wolf says schools and non-life-sustaining businesses will remain closed.
“Our business and school closures will no longer have a set date to resume normal operations,” Wolf said. “Until now I’ve been saying another two weeks, another two weeks. But now I’m going to leave the date indefinite.”
He went on to say that schools and businesses will remain closed as long as they need to be to keep Pennsylvania safe.
“I know this isn’t easy to hear, we are built to want to work, to learn, to socialize and it’s hard being confined,” Wolf said. “We miss our friends, we miss being with family members but if we want to save lives, we must continue to distance ourselves from each other.”
The stay-at-home order has been expanded to 26 counties across Pennsylvania. Those counties include Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York.
Pennsylvania health officials reported nearly 700 new cases on Monday, as the total number of cases across the commonwealth now stands at 4,087.
Fifty people have died from the coronavirus across the state.
According to officials, 33,777 patients who have tested negative to date.
Residents may leave their homes for the following activities and allowable essential travel:
- 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.
The following businesses are exempt from non-life sustaining business closure:
- 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
- Religious institutions
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