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Pennsylvania sets May 8 as target date for easing COVID-19 restrictions


Harrisburg, PA (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is setting May 8 as the date he wants to begin easing some pandemic restrictions.

Wolf said Monday that Pennsylvania had made sufficient progress against COVID-19 to warrant a gradual reopening of the economy.

He says all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians will have to stay home at least through May 8. But he says his stay-at-home order might then be lifted in areas of the state where the virus does not pose as great of a threat.

The governor also announced that Pennsylvania will ease some restrictions on building construction and vehicle sales.

As he spoke, protesters defied a ban on mass gatherings to stage an anti-shutdown rally at the Capitol.



Governor’s Stay-at-Home Amendment
Health Secretary’s Stay-at-Home Amendment
Stay-at-Home Guidance

Harrisburg, PA — 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.

“It is clear that our early and aggressive efforts to mitigate this spread of this highly contagious and deadly virus are working. While we begin to seek ways to move forward, it’s imperative that we continue to take strong precautions to protect Pennsylvanians and ensure that our health care system is not overwhelmed,” Wolf said. “I am so proud of this commonwealth and the resilience of my fellow Pennsylvanians, and I urge you to continue to stay calm and stay home so that we can all stay safe.”

“We are starting to see a downward trend in the number of positive cases throughout the state, which is definitely encouraging,” Dr. Levine said. “We need to proceed carefully to make sure the strides we’ve made in combatting this virus continue to move forward. Extending our statewide order until May 8 will ensure that we don’t overwhelm our health system, while helping our economy to recover.”

Non-life-sustaining physical business closures remain in effect and all life-sustaining businesses and state services will continue.
Individuals are permitted to leave their residences for tasks essential to maintaining health and safety.

Stay-at-home guidance is available as a PDF here.

Wolf recommended that Pennsylvanians continue to wear masks when leaving the house for life-sustaining reasons. Dr. Levine recently 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.

At this time, law enforcement will continue to focus on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement.

Read the governor’s amendment as a PDF here.

Read the Secretary of Health’s amendment as a PDF here.

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