uring a COVID-19 press briefing today Governor Tom Wolf recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons. As COVID-19 cases steadily rise in the state, Gov. Wolf stressed the need to intensify all measures to help stop the spread of the virus.
ARRISBURG, PA (April 3, 2020) – For residents worried about paying for food, rent and other necessities in the wake of coronavirus-related closures, the Dauphin County Commissioners want everyone to know that help is available.
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced all 67 Pennsylvania counties will be under stay-at-home orders effective tonight, Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m.
As COVID-19 cases continue to grow and the state continues to seek relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, today Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders to include Cameron, Crawford, Forest, Franklin, Lawrence, Lebanon and Somerset counties, bringing the state total to 33 counties under a stay-at-home order. This order takes effect at 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and will continue until April 30.
All stay-at-home orders are now extended through April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice. Non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
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.
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@example.com, 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).
HARRISBURG, PA (March 20, 2020) – Casting a mail-in ballot for the April 28 primary is urged for residents concerned about COVID-19, especially for the elderly or those with respiratory or immune system issues, the Dauphin County Commissioners said today.
Anyone can vote using a mail-in ballot instead of going to the polls – no excuse or reason is needed.
“Due to the concern that public gatherings can help spread the coronavirus, we want residents to know how to apply for mail-in ballots,’’ said Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III. “Voting by mail is a safe and secure alternative.’’
To vote by mail:
- Visit www.DauphinCounty.org/vote for a link to download a mail-in ballot application or go to www.VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot to apply online.
- To apply online, you must enter a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number.
- Voters without proper ID need to download the application and use the last four digits of their Social Security number.
- Mail applications to: Dauphin County Bureau of Elections and Voter Registration, P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1295.
- Applications can also be dropped off in a locked box outside the entrance of the Dauphin County Administration Building, 2 South 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101.
Important deadlines to use mail-in ballots for the April 28 primary:
- 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 21: Deadline to get completed mail-in ballot application to the county election office.
- 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28: Deadline to return voted mail-in or absentee ballot.
To date, the office has processed more than 3,000 applications for absentee or mail-in ballots. If any of these individuals, especially college students, have changed their address, please contact the office at 717-780-6360 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include name, date of birth, driver’s license number, previous address and new address.
Also, the new voting system training sessions that were to be held throughout the county in March and April have been postponed until further notice.
Wolf Administration Orders Closure of Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses at 8 p.m. Today, March 19
Enforcement Actions for Restaurant, Bar Dine-In Closure Began at 8 p.m., March 18
Enforcement Actions for Non-Compliance will Begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21
Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. today, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.
In extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or servicing health care providers.
“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And, we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”
The governor had previously encouraged non-life-sustaining businesses to close to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants and bars were already required to stop all dine-in services. Enforcement for establishments with a liquor license began at 8 p.m. March 18, and enforcement for all other food establishments will begin at 8 p.m. tonight. Food establishments can offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service, including alcohol.
Pursuant to the Emergency Management Services Code, the governor is granted extraordinary powers upon his declaration of a disaster emergency, such as COVID-19. Among these powers, the governor may control the ingress and egress into the disaster area, the movement of persons, and the occupancy of premises within the disaster area, which has been established to be the entire commonwealth for the COVID-19 disaster emergency. The secretary of health separately is authorized under the law to employ measures necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease.
Separately, and taken together, the administration is exercising these powers to temporarily close all non-life-sustaining businesses and dine-in facilities at all restaurants and bars across the commonwealth. Persons must be removed from these premises to cope with the COVID-19 disaster emergency.
Failure to Comply and Enforcement
Failure to comply with these requirements will result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines, or license suspensions.
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
Private businesses, local organizations and other noncompliant entities that fail or refuse to comply with the governor’s orders that protect the lives and health of Pennsylvanians will forfeit their ability to receive any applicable disaster relief and/or may be subject to other appropriate administrative action. Such action may include termination of state loan or grant funding, including Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) grant funding and/or suspension or revocation of licensure for violation of the law.
Finally, in addition to any other criminal charges that might be applicable, the Department of Health is authorized to prosecute noncompliant entities for the failure to comply with health laws, including quarantine, isolation or other disease control measures. Violators are subject to fines or imprisonment.
Business Loans and Support
The Department of Community and Economic Development (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. The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses.
The Wolf Administration today 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).
Businesses seeking guidance from DCED can also contact its customer service resource account at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH and selecting option 1.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.
HARRISBURG, PA (March 16, 2020) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, as well as the Court of Common Pleas, are taking proactive measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of employees, visitors and the public they serve and comply with Governor Wolf’s order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Effective 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Dauphin County government offices will be closed to the public until further notice. Essential employees who are assigned to 24/7 facilities and other critical operations should follow specific guidance from their department director with the goal of maintaining vital services.
Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas and magisterial district court offices will also close to the public at 4:30 p.m. on March 17, 2020. Certain court proceedings will be handled according to Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas President Judge John F. Cherry’s order.
Also, the commissioners declared a disaster emergency in Dauphin County and canceled all public events and activities at the county’s various facilities and buildings until further notice. A list of events can be found at www.DauphinCounty.org.
Residents who want to pay a tax bill or drop off a voter registration form or absentee/mail-in ballot can deposit items in a locked box near the entrance of the Dauphin County Administration Building on Second Street in Harrisburg.
The Dauphin County Courthouse will also have a secure box near the entrance on Market Street where documents can be dropped off.
The County Commissioners’ public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at 10 a.m. will take place in the lobby of the Dauphin County Administration Building. At the conclusion of the public meeting, the Administration Building will close immediately. The public meeting on Wednesday, March 25 is canceled.
Currently, there are a total of 76 cases reported in Pennsylvania, none of which are in Dauphin County. For several weeks, county officials have been preparing for the possibility of COVID-19 cases to occur locally.
The county has developed an online resource at www.DauphinCounty.org/coronavirus to keep residents updated on COVID-19, health and safety tips and the county’s response to the pandemic.