Harrisburg, PA (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is ordering residents of Pennsylvania’s hardest-hit areas to stay home to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus that has sickened hundreds and caused six deaths statewide.
He also shuttered schools statewide for an additional two weeks.
Noting that Philadelphia already ordered residents to remain home, Wolf issued the stay-at-home order for the counties around the city; for Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh; and for Monroe County in the Pocono Mountains.
Those counties account for 75% of Pennsylvania’s confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Wolf has imposed progressively tougher measures as state officials say the pandemic threatens to swamp hospitals and spike the death toll.
Harrisburg, PA – 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.
“I remain deeply concerned about this public health crisis and we must continue to take careful but critical steps now to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are issuing these orders because Pennsylvanians’ health and safety remains our highest priority.”
“The number of cases continues to grow and so we must take further steps to stop the spread of this contagious and dangerous novel virus to protect the public’s health and mitigate the risk to our hospital system,” Dr. Levine said. “There is one way to make sure people don’t need to be hospitalized and we don’t strain our health care system: Stay calm. Stay home. Stay safe.”