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Gov. Wolf clarifies essential vs non-essential businesses


Harrisburg, PA – After many people wondered what the difference was between “essential” and “non-essential” businesses, PA Gov. Tom Wolf has given some clarity.

He asked, but not mandated, all non-essential businesses to close for the next two weeks.

Health care facilities, gas stations, grocery stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies will all stay open.

Essential service also include but are not limited to media and news organizations, food processing, industrial manufacturing, agriculture, construction, utility companies, trash collection, grocery/household/convenience stores, home and auto repair sites, post offices and shipping locations, banks, insurance companies, laundromats, vet clinics and pet stores, warehouses and distribution centers, public transport, and hotels.

Non-essential facilities include specialty retail stores, event venues, gyms, hair salons or barber shops, recreation centers, and theaters. They have been strongly encouraged to close but not mandated to shut down.


Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania is joining the list of states to temporarily close all non-essential businesses.

Gov. Tom Wolf has extended the shutdown, which originally only affected the five most heavily populated counties in the state.

All essential government and medical services will continue. Other essential businesses like pharmacies, grocery stores, health care facilities, and gas stations will stay open.

State-run liquor stores will also shut down at 9 p.m. Tuesday, wine and beer can still be purchased at grocery stores that carry them.

This is a directive from the Pennsylvania government, but it will be up to each business to self-enforce. Some may remain open for the time being, which is their right.

Wolf expects that this temporary closure will last for two weeks, but it could last longer if necessary.

“This isn’t a decision that I take lightly at all,” the governor said at a press briefing on Monday. “It’s one that I’m making because medical experts believe it is the only way we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients.”

Officials reiterated that there is no reason to panic. However, the virus should be taken seriously and you should be in contact with as few people as possible.

“For example,”, Wolf said in his address. “If you need to go to the pharmacy, go to the pharmacy. But don’t stop at several other stores or places on the way in and make contact with a dozen other people.”

Dr. Rachel Levine, the Secretary of the PA Department of Health says, “Your job right now is to stay calm, stay safe, and please stay at home.”


Harrisburg, PA (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf has extended a shutdown order to the entire state of Pennsylvania in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Wolf had already called for nonessential government offices to close and nonessential business activity to end in four heavily populated southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court gave local judges the ability to shut down county courthouses as needed and the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchanges will no longer take cash or credit cards.

Cases confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health have exceeded 75, as of Monday. The majority of confirmed cases have been in southeastern Pennsylvania.