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Police enforce closure of non-life-sustaining businesses, starts Monday


Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), issued the following statement on the agency’s enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order closing physical locations of non-life-sustaining businesses:

“The priority of the Pennsylvania State Police is protecting lives and maintaining order in the commonwealth. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, troopers and liquor control enforcement officers are prepared to ensure compliance with Governor Wolf’s order.

Updated list of non-life-sustaining and life-sustaining businesses.

“Private businesses, organizations, and other noncompliant entities face possible criminal penalties under the Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P.S. § 1409 and/or the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.20(a). Both violations are summary offenses punishable by fines and even jail time. Violators may also be subject to additional administrative penalties under certain circumstances.

“We believe most Pennsylvanians want to act responsibly and do their part to help slow the spread of this deadly virus. Troopers and liquor control officers will make every effort to achieve voluntary compliance by educating business owners and using discretion when appropriate. But our message is clear: COVID-19 is a serious health and public safety risk that requires an extraordinary response from law enforcement and the public. I urge everyone to stay home, stay calm, and stay safe.”

The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce the closure orders to the full extent of the law:

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Department of Health
Department of Agriculture
Pennsylvania State Police
Local officials, using their resources to enforce closure orders within their jurisdictions
The Wolf administration has provided all local law enforcement with enforcement guidance that mirrors PSP’s.

To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest PSP station. Please do not call 911 to file reports.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.


Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf provided an update on the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and efforts to mitigate the virus in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf encouraged compliance with his order that non-life-sustaining businesses in the commonwealth close brick-and-mortar operations, and reminded Pennsylvanians that enforcement of that order will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, March 23.

“The number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus is continuing to increase and it is creating the most significant public health crisis in our lifetime,” Gov, Wolf said. “This is requiring all of us to confront it. To change and to sacrifice. That sacrifice is not easy, but it is real, and I don’t want to minimize it. I want to be honest with you and what we’re up against.

“Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. we will begin to enforce the order made on Thursday for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their physical locations. We understand the challenges facing these businesses and all Pennsylvanians. We have worked to be responsive and flexible so that businesses can apply for a waiver to keep their physical locations open if they perform life-sustaining work.”

For information on the commonwealth’s mitigation efforts visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19.


Harrisburg, PA – Due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Wolf Administration is delaying enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order and the Secretary of Health’s order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Updated Business Guidance
Business Waiver Application Form
FAQ on Business Guidance

Per Governor Wolf’s and Dr. Levine’s orders, businesses that were non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19, at 8:00 PM. This order stands, only the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM.

Those businesses requesting clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should check this list, email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) customer service resource account at [email protected], or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select option 1 to reach DCED staff. For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application.

When a business completes a waiver form, a team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified via email if their operations may re-open. Businesses applying for a waiver must remain closed until a decision is made about their application.

DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.