Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus graphicCOVID-19 Resources from PALawHelp.org 


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Below is information from various sources compiled by Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network regarding the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania:

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:

 

May 29, 2020

Gov. Wolf: State Continues Phased Reopening with 16 More Counties Set to Go Green on June 5

With more than 80 percent of the state in some phase of reopening, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that 16 additional counties will take another step forward and move to green effective 12:01 a.m., June 5. Counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

The first 18 counties moved to green today, including Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.

Eight counties moved to yellow today, including Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill.

May 26, 2020

Gov. Wolf Thanks Pennsylvanians for Their Part to Slow the Spread of COVID-19, Centre County to Move to Green

As part of a COVID-19 briefing, Governor Tom Wolf today thanked Pennsylvanians, including the Pennsylvania National Guard, for the many contributions to the pandemic response. He also announced that Centre County will move to green on Friday.

May 22, 2020

Gov. Wolf Adds Eight Counties to Yellow and 17 to Green on May 29, Remainder to Yellow on June 5

Furthering his plan for reopening Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf today announced eight additional counties will move to yellow and 17 to green, effective at 12:01 a.m., May 29. All remaining counties in red are expected to move to yellow by June 5 at 12:01 a.m.

The counties moving to yellow on May 29 include Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill.

The 17 counties moving to green, also on May 29, include Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.

May 15, 2020

Gov. Wolf: 12 More Counties to Move to Yellow Phase on May 22

Governor Tom Wolf announced 12 additional Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22. Those counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York. 

May 8, 2020

Gov. Wolf Announces 13 Counties will Move to Yellow Phase of Reopening on May 15

Governor Tom Wolf announced that 13 Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 15. Those counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

May 7, 2020

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend General Stay-at-Home Orders, Issue Yellow Phase Orders

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today extended the stay-at-home orders for all counties in red to June 4, and signed new orders for the 24 counties moving to yellow at 12:01 a.m. on May 8.

The extended stay-at-home order remains the same as the original statewide stay-at-home order announced on April 1.The yellow phase order provides guidance for those counties entering the yellow phase of reopening tomorrow.

The yellow phase order applies to these 24 counties: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.

Gov. Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro Announce Protections from Foreclosures and Evictions Through July 10

Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Attorney General Josh Shapiro to announce that he signed an executive order that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures or evictions through July 10. The action builds on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order which closed court eviction proceedings until May 11 and ensures no renter or homeowner will be removed from their home for 60 more days.
 

May 1, 2020

Gov. Wolf Announces Reopening of 24 Counties Beginning May 8
 

April 20, 2020

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Until May 8

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that the statewide stay-at-home orders issued on April 1 to protect Pennsylvanians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be extended until Friday, May 8 at 12:01 AM. The initial order was set to expire on April 30.

Governor Tom Wolf also announced three actions including the start of online sales of vehicles; the restart of construction projects statewide starting Friday, May 8; and curbside pickup of wine and spirits at select Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board locations, signaling that there may be some relaxing of current COVID-19 mitigation policies in the weeks ahead.
 

April 16, 2020

Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

Dr. Rachel Levine, under her authority as Secretary of the Department of Health, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.The order establishes protocols to help employees maintain a social distance during work, including requiring employees to wear masks while at work. 

Businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area are ordered to implement additional measures including requiring all customers to wear masks while on premises, and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of goods. An exception to this requirement is that individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children the age of 2 years) may enter the premises without having to provide medical documentation. Details are outlined in the Secretary's Order.
 

April 9, 2020

Governor Wolf Extends School Closure for Remainder of Academic Year

Governor Tom Wolf has announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Students and families can continue to pick up meals at designated sites.

April 1, 2020

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health: Pennsylvania on Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Beginning at 8 PM Tonight, “Most Prudent Option to Stop the Spread”

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced all 67 Pennsylvania counties will be under stay-at-home orders effective tonight, Wednesday, April 1, at 8 PM and will continue until April 30. 

All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice and non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect. 

All essential state services will continue.

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
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

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
  • 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.

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. Please 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.

Governor Wolf’s Order

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s Order

Stay at Home Order Guidance

Industry Operation Guidance

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.
 

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

Additional News:

Pennsylvania Courts:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Directs Local Courts to Restore More Operations

By Order issued April 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has directed county courts to restore a wider range of operations, while giving priority to critical matters and remaining focused on protecting the health and safety of court users, personnel and the public.

While the Court has extended the judicial emergency through June 1, 2020, in order to provide President Judges with authority to address varying local conditions, it recognized the need to move beyond emergency matters to a much broader range of court functions, giving priority to the most critical functions and in a manner consistent with public health and safety.  Some provisions of the Court's Order include:

  • Suspension of time calculations and deadlines outlined in the Court’s previous Orders will end May 11, 2020;
  • Prior orders related to payments to Magisterial District Courts are extended until May 11, 2020.
  • Self-represented litigants or attorneys who believe the enforcement of time deadlines pose a danger to health and safety may file a certification with the court for consideration;
  • Deposition of and required appearances for doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals substantially involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are suspended through June 1.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Closes Courts to the Public Statewide

UPDATE (April 1, 2020): By order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, all Pennsylvania Courts are generally closed to the public, begining at the close of business March 19, 2020, and lasting through at least April 30, 2020, subject to general and specific directives and exceptions in the order.


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

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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.

Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted on March 27, 2020. The law provides roughly $2 Trillion in relief and economic stimulus funds to provide relief for individuals and businesses facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The law provides relief in a variety of forms including direct payments to taxpayers; increased access to greater amounts of unemployment compensation benefits; increased funding for food security programs;  increased funding to health systems; financial assistance through loans and grants to business enterprises and funding to support education including loan relief.

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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