Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Gov. Wolf extends “stay-at-home” order to Dauphin, Cumberland counties; schools to stay closed indefinitely

Gov. Tom Wolf (right) during Monday’s virtual press conference

Dauphin and Cumberland counties have been added to the state’s “stay-at-home” order, which now includes much of south-central Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday added four counties to the order and, on Tuesday, added another seven counties, bringing the total number of counties under the order to 33. Tuesday’s order included Lebanon and Franklin counties.

Besides these central PA counties, Wolf this week has added Carbon, Schuylkill, Cameron, Crawford, Forest, Lawrence and Somerset counties to the order.

Last week, the state included the first counties in the region to the stay-at-home order, Lancaster and York counties.

“If you live in one of these counties, only leave your home if it is absolutely necessary because the number of cases continues to grow,” Wolf said.

As of Tuesday, the state reported 4,843 positive cases of COVID-19, including 63 deaths.

To date, Dauphin County has 45 confirmed cases and Cumberland County has 36 confirmed cases. Both counties have reported one death from the disease.

Wolf said that “stay-at-home” orders have been issued on a county-by-county basis based upon the severity of the caseload and following consultation with county officials. However, he did not preclude a potential statewide order.

“The disease has now reared its ugly head in all parts of the state,” Wolf said. “If that continues, we always have the option of moving to a statewide stay-at-home order.”

In addition, Wolf said that he was removing all reopening dates for schools, as well as dates to lift restrictions on nonessential businesses. Previously, the state had set a potential reopening date for schools for April 6. Both school and business restrictions now will remain in place until further notice, Wolf said.

“I’m going to keep the date indefinite,” he said.

Under the “stay-at-home” order, people may leave their residences 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

Those 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, according to the state.

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