Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

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Here are some sources of information regarding the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information:

Legal Aid:

Most program offices in the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) have stopped accepting walk-in clients pending the current COVID-19 crisis.

You can apply for legal aid by telephone or online through the program serving your county. You can locate your local legal aid office using the PLAN Program Provider list at https://palegalaid.net/legal-aid-providers-in-pa. Online applications, where available, can be made through the individual program websites.

Government/Closures:

Latest from the Governor's Office:

March 25, 2020

Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Expand ‘Stay at Home’ Order to Lehigh and Northampton Counties to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19, Counties Now Total 10
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised the “Stay at Home” order to include Lehigh and Northampton counties, bringing the state total to 10 counties under the stay-at-home order.

The 10 counties under the order are Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. The amended orders takes effect at 8:00 PM Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.

March 24, 2020

Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Expand ‘Stay at Home’ Order to Erie County to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19
The new order now includes eight counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. This order takes effect at 8:00 PM Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.

March 23, 2020

Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Issue ‘Stay at Home’ Orders to 7 Counties to Mitigate Spread of COVID-19 
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued “Stay at Home” orders to Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, as the state seeks relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. This order takes effect at 8:00 PM on Monday, March 23, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.

All schools statewide will also remain closed through at least April 6, 2020.

STAY-AT-HOME Order:

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual 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

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
  • The federal government
  • Religious institutions

Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this order but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

March 22, 2020:

  • Enforcement of business closures will begin at 8:00 a.m., Monday, March 23.
  • Provided closure enforcement guidance to law enforcement.
  • All non-life-sustaining businesses must close to slow the spread of COVID-19
  • Pennsylvania k-12 schools closed with guidance provided.
  • Postponing in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.
  • Discretion for religious leaders in holding services.
  • No-visitor policies at all State correctional facilities and nursing homes to ensure the safety of inmates, residents, staff and visitors.
  • Restricted-visitor policies in state centers.
  • Restricted-visitor policies in assisted living and personal care homes.

March 19, 2020:

CLOSURE OF ALL NON-LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES

Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

List of Life-Sustaining Businesses
Governor's Order
Governor's Video Message
Secretary of Health's Order
 

Statewide Mitigation Efforts beginning at 12:01 AM, Tuesday, March 17 include:

  • All restaurants and bars close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.
  • Freedom of travel will remain, but all Pennsylvanians are asked to refrain from non-essential travel.
  • All child care centers licensed by the commonwealth close as of Tuesday, March 17 and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures. Philadelphia County families should check with their child care facilities to determine status of business operations.
  • Adult day care centers, adult training facilities, Provocations facilities, LIFE centers and Senior Community Centers close beginning Tuesday, March 17 and will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 14-day statewide closures.
  • Essential State, County, and Municipal services will be open: police, fire, emergency medical services, sanitation, and essential services for vulnerable populations.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations will remain open. 
  • Governor Tom Wolf announced on March 13 that all K-12 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on March 13 that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. Pennsylvania sought and received approval from the Federal government to allow schools the option to distribute meals at no cost while schools are closed. More information on Meals for Children.
  • The Wolf Administration strongly encourages the suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of more than 10 people, and per White House guidelines, ask that individuals and groups cancel any gatherings planned over the next eight weeks.
  • The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.
  • Restricted visitors in state centers to ensure health and safety for individuals with an intellectual disability.
  • Restricted visitors in assisted living and personal care homes to minimize exposure to our seniors and individuals with disabilities.
  • County Assistance Offices: The Department of Human Services (DHS) is closing all county assistance offices (CAOs) statewide to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17 in coordination with Governor Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19. In-person business will resume no sooner than Wednesday, April 1. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’ online applications and resources to apply for benefits or submit paperwork as necessary. 
  • Driver/Photo License Centers:  All Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Pennsylvania will be closed for two weeks effective close of business on Monday, March 16. Expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections will be extended. Additonal transportation adjustments outlined in press release.
  • PA.gov News
  • PA Governor Tom Wolf - News
  • PA Department of Human Services - News

Pennsylvania Courts:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Closes Courts to the Public Statewide

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has entered an Order directing that all Pennsylvania courts – including trial and intermediate appellate courts – are closed to the public for non-essential functions through at least April 3, 2020. 

The statewide court closure also includes magisterial district courts, Philadelphia Municipal Court, and Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Arraignment Division.

In addition, the Court has suspended all time calculations and deadlines relevant to court cases or other judicial business through April 3, 2020. The Court has also authorized and encouraged the use of advanced communication technology to conduct emergency court proceedings.

For additional information about proceeding in your local courts visit the UJS Coronavirus Information page at http://www.pacourts.us/ujs-coronavirus-information.

Additional information on local courts can be found on the local court website. These can be located using the locator at http://www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/individual-county-courts.

LandLord/Tenant

As part of its Order closing the Pennsylvania Courts, the Supreme Court directed that, during the period encompassed by the Order or the judicial emergency, whichever is longer, no officer, official, or other person employed by the Pennsylvania Judiciary at any level shall effectuate an eviction, ejectment, or other displacement from a residence based upon the failure to make a rent, loan, or other similar payment.

Federal Legislation

President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, 2020. The law will go into effect 15 days after it was signed.

Many people will be eligible for two weeks of sick leave at their regular pay rate to either quarantine, or to seek a COVID-19 diagnosis or preventive care for themself.

Additionally, you may also be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at no less than two-thirds your regular pay rate if you are caring for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis, or to care for a child whose school or daycare has closed as a result of coronavirus concerns.

An expanded Family and Medical Leave Act will also provide government employees and those who have worked for companies with fewer than 500 employees for at least 30 days with 10 weeks of emergency paid leave to care for children whose schools or daycare facilities were closed.

Click here for a more complete summary of what is covered under the law.

Employees - Unemployment Conpensation/Workers Compensation:

Food Insecurity and Help/Meals:

Medical Insurance, Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Information:

Schools/Education:

Social Security Administration:

Taxes

Utility Terminations:

Consumer Protection/Scams:

 

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