Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health Extend Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Until May 8
Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today 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/.
Tips for Pennsylvanians Receiving Paper Stimulus Checks
The Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) is providing recommendations for Pennsylvanians receiving their stimulus checks, known as an economic impact payment, in paper check form instead of direct deposit. The payments are part of the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). The department also is reminding licensees of limitations on fees for cashing government checks.
“It is important consumers understand check cashing fees so they keep as much of their money as possible,” said Acting Secretary Richard Vague. “We will be ensuring that check casher licensees are complying with statutory provisions related to fees on government checks during ongoing examinations.”
Economic impact payments are specifically defined as a “Government Check” in the law that regulates check cashers in Pennsylvania. For any consumer that uses a licensed check casher or a registered retail check casher (e.g. grocery store) to cash this check, a maximum fee of 1.5 percent of the value of the check may be assessed. For example, on a $1,200 check, the maximum allowed fee is $18. A consumer would receive cash in the amount of $1,182.
To be sure that the establishment is properly licensed or registered consumers can search on the NMLS Consumer Access website or call 1-800-PA-BANKS.
If an establishment cashes your Government Check and charges more than 1.5 percent, please contact DoBS immediately by calling 1-800-PA-BANKS or visiting the website at dobs.pa.gov. It is important that you retain records of the transaction including a receipt.
“Consumers should remain vigilant about various coronavirus scams,” said Vague. “No government official will call you to confirm bank account information or your Social Security number. Never give out personal information if you did not initiate the phone call.”
For more detailed information related to financial scams and tips for protecting yourself, DoBS has developed a financial scams guide.
Learn more about COVID-19 information and guidance for financial Institutions and consumers from DoBS. Anyone can contact DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-600-0007 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.
Visit the commonwealth's Responding to COVID-19 guide for the latest guidance and resources for Pennsylvanians or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
Wolf Administration Encourages Residents To Support Local Restaurants with CarryoutPA.com
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Tourism Office encouraged Pennsylvanians to support local restaurants by visiting the CarryoutPA website, which offers a comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside, or delivery services during the state’s stay-at-home order.
“As this public health crisis continues to unfold, it is important that we practice social distancing and adhere to the stay-at-home order when possible,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “But it’s also critical to remember that we can all still do our part to support the restaurants in our communities as they work to provide safe dine-out options.”
CarryoutPA.com was developed by the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA) to serve as a go-to resource for dine-out options in support of the commonwealth’s restaurant industry, which accounts for 10 percent of jobs statewide. Pennsylvania restaurants that would like to be added to the registry can register here.
"Restaurants in Pennsylvania and the nation have been hit hard by the mandated closure of dine-in service due to COVID-19. As the statewide organization for the commonwealth's restaurant industry, PRLA moved quickly to establish a website for restaurants to let the public know that they were open and ready to serve their communities," said John Longstreet, PRLA president & CEO. "Any restaurant in Pennsylvania that is open for take out and delivery may add their listing to CarryOutPA.com, at no charge."
According to the association, 4 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product is spent on eating out, with the restaurant industry generating around $863 billion in 2019. More than 70 percent of restaurants are single-unit operations, many of which are family owned.
“Small business is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s tourism industry, and we are committed to supporting our commonwealth’s business owners as we work through these unprecedented times together,” said DCED Deputy Secretary for Marketing, Tourism, and Film, Carrie Fischer Lepore. “By visiting the CarryoutPA website, Pennsylvanians can treat themselves to a safely-prepared dine-out meal while helping their community on the road to recovery from this pandemic.”
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: Responding to COVID-19 Guide.
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to Pennsylvania as the state’s official destination marketing organization. Pennsylvania welcomed 204 million visitors in 2019, generating a $43 billion economic impact which supports 500,000 jobs. For more information, visit the visitPA website or sign up for our Happy Thoughts newsletter, become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check out photos on Instagram, share pins on Pinterest, or watch us on Youtube.