Gov. Wolf advises statewide shutdown of all nonessential businesses

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf has extended a shutdown advisory to the entire state of Pennsylvania in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, effective at midnight. This advisory is not a mandatory order.

Wolf had already called for nonessential government offices to close and nonessential business activity to end in four heavily populated southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Wolf said Monday he will extend that advisory to the rest of the state.

“This isn’t a decision that I take lightly at all,” Wolf said. “It’s one I’m making because medical experts believe it’s the only way we can prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”

“First, the governor has not mandated the immediate closure of any businesses in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania House Republicans said in a statement. “He has ‘strongly urged’ that ‘non-essential’ businesses shut down as part of social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.”

“We agree this is a time to limit exposure to large groups of people, but if you, or a business owner you know, wishes to remain in business, it is their right to do so.

The governor has mandated bars and restaurants to end dine-in service. Food establishments can still operate take-out and delivery services. This is an enforceable action, as restaurants and bars fall under the purview of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the Department of Health.

Pennsylvania House Republicans

His administration said essential businesses include grocery stores, banks, gas stations, big box stores, day cares, pharmacies and hardware stores, or stores that sell a range of consumer goods.

Pennsylvania’s number of cases continued growing Monday, exceeding 75, according to the state Department of Health.

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