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Coronavirus Updates State

Gov. Wolf Calls for Universal Masking

During 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.

“Two days ago, I amplified our social distancing efforts by instituting a statewide stay-at-home order, and today I am asking all Pennsylvanians to wear a mask any time they leave their houses,” Gov. Wolf said. “Masks help prevent people from sharing illnesses. But, they don’t do a great job at keeping people from getting sick; and, they’re not foolproof, so it is critical that our first act is to ask ourselves if we really need to leave our house. If we don’t really, truly need to leave, then we shouldn’t.”

“Staying home is the most effective way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19,” Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “But, if you must go out because you are out of food or medication, then wearing a mask, or even a bandana across your nose and mouth, could be an extra layer of protection.

“You don’t need a surgical mask – we need those for our health care workers and first responders. We have guidance on universal masking on our website, including instructions on how to make your own mask using materials you have at home.”

As of midnight, Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 cases stand at 8,420 in 63 counties with 102 deaths. Gov. Wolf’s statewide stay-at-home order asks Pennsylvanians in all 67 counties to not leave their homes unless it’s for life-sustaining reasons. Today, he asked that wearing a mask during those life-sustaining trips becomes the norm.

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like the grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” Gov. Wolf said. “These people are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”

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

Help is available for those needing food and other assistance, say Dauphin County Commissioners

HARRISBURG, 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.

“This is a difficult time for all of us, especially for those left without a paycheck if their employer had to close during the pandemic,’’ said Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III. “We want to let residents know they are not alone and where they can go for help.’’

Additionally, information about  COVID-19, including health safety tips and links to services, are available on the Dauphin County’s website at www.dauphincounty.org/coronavirus

How to get help:

211: Connect with programs and services

The United Way’s 211 service offers a way to access assistance ranging from help with rent and financial assistance to locating nearby food pantries.

Access the service by calling 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898-211 for a live, two-way conversation, or going online to www.uwp.org/211gethelp  for statewide, regional and local resources. Due to the volume of calls, texting and using the website will give faster access.

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

Find soup kitchens, food pantries and social programs near you by going to www.centralpafoodbank.org/find-help/find-a-food-pantry or calling the organization’s helpline at 877-999-5964

Unemployment and Workers Compensation

Assistance is available for full-time workers as well as the self-employed and “gig” workers. For more information and to fill out an application, visit the state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation at www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx

If you were exposed to the coronavirus through your workplace, information about making a workers’ compensation claim is also available on the website.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Eligible low-income households can apply for food assistance through SNAP, which provides an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used at grocery stores. Families may also qualify for other services, such as Medical Assistance, childcare assistance and cash assistance.

For more information and to apply for benefits, go to the PA Department of Human Services, www.dhs.pa.gov

Help for active military members and their families and veterans

Active military and their families and find information about financial help and other assistance at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/

Information for veterans, including a telehealth option to talk to someone about their symptoms, is available at https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/

Utilities

In mid-March, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued an order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations for the duration of Gov. Tom Wolf’s disaster declaration related to the coronavirus is in effect. Wolf signed the declaration on March 6.

For more information on assistance offered by specific utilities, visit:

PPL: https://stories.pplelectric.com/

PECO: www.peco.com/SafetyCommunity/Safety/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

UGI: www.ugi.com/covid-19-response-plan

SUEZ: https://www.mysuezwater.com/news/our-commitment-customers

Capital Region Water: https://capitalregionwater.com/news/

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health: Pennsylvania on Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

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.

“This is the most prudent option to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our commonwealth, where cases continue to grow daily,” Gov. Wolf said. “We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians; we are in this together and this statewide stay-at-home order is being made after many discussions with multiple state agencies; Dr. Levine; and state, county and local officials as we continue to monitor the most effective ways to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Previously, there were 33 counties on statewide stay-at-home orders. The first orders were issued on March 23 for seven counties.

The statewide stay-at-home order takes effect at 8 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and will continue until April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice and non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect. All essential state services will continue.

“This statewide stay-at-home order is not just to protect ourselves from exposure to COVID-19, but it protects those on the front lines,” Dr. Levine said. “Our doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMTs need us to do this. And the CNAs who are taking care of our family in nursing or long-term care facilities need us to do this. Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home.”

Individuals may leave their residence 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

Individuals 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.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

The Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students to schools in the coming days.

At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.

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

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend Stay-at-Home Orders to Seven Additional Counties

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. Yesterday, all stay-at-home orders were extended through April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice. Non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect.

The order now includes these 33 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Forest, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.

Individuals may leave their residence 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

Individuals 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.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.

Read Governor Wolf’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Governor Wolf’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

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

Gov. Wolf and Sec. of Health Expand ‘Stay at Home’ Order to Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties, Extend School Closures Indefinitely

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 Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill counties, bringing the state total to 26 counties under a stay-at-home order. This order takes effect at 8 p.m., Monday, March 30, 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.

The order now includes these 26 counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.

Individuals may leave their residence 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

Individuals 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.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

The Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students to schools in the coming days.

At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.

Read Governor Wolf’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Governor Wolf’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

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

Dauphin County announces first positive case of COVID-19

HARRISBURG, PA (March 22, 2020) -Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III today are alerting the community that one positive case of COVID-19 has been reported in Dauphin County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Currently, the state is reporting a total of 479 COVID-19 cases across 33 counties.
“The health and safety of our residents is our top priority,” said Haste. “We’re taking every precaution necessary to protect the public and our employees.”
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, 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. They also closed county buildings to the public, while continuing to provide services by modifying operations, and implemented video visitation at Dauphin County Prison.
“This is a rapidly changing situation,” said Pries. “We’re working closely with our state and federal partners to ensure local first responders and providers have what they need to respond to COVID-19.”
The commissioners urge residents to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by doing the following:
  • 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.
“We’re taking all the proper precautions and encouraging residents to stay informed, stay safe and stay home,” said Hartwick.
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.
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.

Waiver Extension, Revised Timing Of Enforcement: Monday, March 23 At 8:00 Am

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 ra-dcedcs@pa.gov, 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.

Dauphin County Commissioners urge residents to vote by mail due to COVID-19 concerns

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:

  • 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 election@dauphinc.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.

All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses In Pennsylvania To Close Physical Locations

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.

Gov. Wolf’s order is here.
A video statement from Gov. Wolf is here.
Sec. of Health’s order is here.
A list of life-sustaining businesses is here.

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 ra-dcedcs@pa.gov 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/.

Dauphin County officials declare disaster emergency and close offices to the public to prevent 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.