Font Size:

A- A A+

Governor, First Lady Wolf: Pennsylvania’s Food Supply is Reliable, Accessible, and Life-Sustaining

Governor, First Lady Wolf: Pennsylvania’s Food Supply is Reliable, Accessible, and Life-Sustaining

March 22, 2020

Wolf Administration Provides Information to Prevent Food Insecurity

Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that grocery stores, food processors, and food banks remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic and the administration is working to expand resources for those who are food insecure. Pennsylvanians should feel confident in the food supply and shop for food at their normal rate.

“Even in a pandemic, grocery stores and food banks are life-sustaining and accessible; food production and distribution are continuing,” Governor Wolf said. “I urge all Pennsylvanians to have faith in our food system. If each one of us commits to only buy what we need; there will be enough for everyone and their neighbors.

“COVID-19 does not change the need for food production; but rather it highlights the importance of our essential agriculture industry for providing a safe, continuous food supply,” Wolf said. “I’m incredibly proud of and grateful for this dedicated industry. These times will pass; but in the meantime, you can know that they’re working hard and making smart decisions to fill the shelves of your local grocer.”

Earlier this week the department issued guidance for those in the business of food production and distribution to continue their life-sustaining work while also taking every necessary precaution to protect their workforce from COVID-19. In addition to guidance for the agriculture industry and its distribution network, recommendations were issued for grocery stores to protect both their critical employees and the public.

The following guidance was issued to ensure a safe, reliable, and accessible food supply for all Pennsylvanians:

Further, the following guidance is available for those who are food insecure and organizations that provide for the food insecure.

“Pennsylvania’s charitable food network plays an invaluable role in supporting our communities, and as we all do our part to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, this work is more important than ever,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “Those of us who are fortunate enough to know where our next meal will come from must consider donating our resources or time to supporting our local food banks to ensure that no Pennsylvanian goes hungry – now or ever.”

For information and guidance as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit agriculture.pa.gov/COVID. For the most accurate, timely information related to Health in Pennsylvania, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.

March 22, 2020

WAIVER EXTENSION, REVISED TIMING OF ENFORCEMENT: Monday, March 23 at 8:00 AM

WAIVER EXTENSION, REVISED TIMING OF ENFORCEMENT: Monday, March 23 at 8:00 AM
Updated Business Guidance
Business Waiver Application Form
FAQ on Business Guidance

 

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 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 https://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.

Gov. Wolf, Secretary Levine Provide Updated Guidance, Stress Need for Compliance as Cases Rise 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 20, 2020 
View Online

Gov. Wolf, Secretary Levine Provide Updated Guidance, Stress Need for Compliance as Cases Rise 

Updated Business Guidance
Business Waiver Application Form
FAQ on Business Guidance

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update today on their orders to close all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. yesterday, March 19, as the state seeks relief to save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19 and help workers and businesses through this challenging and quickly changing situation.

“Yesterday, I made the difficult decision to order the closure of the physical locations of businesses that are not critical to sustaining life in a pandemic, and to practice social distancing for all others,” said Governor Wolf. “We’re in an unprecedented crisis and we need to use every tool at our disposal. The difficult decisions we make now will make it possible for our health care workers to manage this crisis as we see the full brutality of the virus in the coming weeks.”

The orders to close the physical locations of all non-life-sustaining business took effect at 8 p.m. last night, March 19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. Businesses are encouraged to use virtual or telework operations if they can do so.

A list of both life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining businesses is here. Business guidance has been updated after conversations with businesses, stakeholders, and individuals—in consultation with the Department of Health—and has been aligned with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory released yesterday.

This is an evolving situation and decisions will continue to be made and revisited as needed. If a business listed for closure believes it could help mitigate this crisis by providing a life sustaining service, it can seek an exemption. Businesses can get a waiver application through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website. or may contact the Department of Community and Economic Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH and selecting option 1.

“I was a business owner for much of my adult life and I understand your concerns,” said Gov. Wolf. “These are uncharted waters and we’re going to do everything we can to help the people and businesses of Pennsylvania.”

DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to https://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. Governor Wolf announced yesterday 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).

The spread of COVID-19 is increasing at an exponential pace, especially in urban areas and southeast Pennsylvania. New cases are beginning to appear in other counties, which suggests community spread. The Department of Health reported earlier today there were 83 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 268 Pennsylvanians who have tested positive in 26 counties.

“While we continue to be concerned about the spread of this virus to seniors, a preliminary analysis from the CDC this week shows that 20 percent of all hospitalized patients in the U.S. are between 20 and 44 years old,” said Dr. Rachel Levine. “We are seriously concerned that individuals in their 20 to 44 age range are not heeding the message to stay home and are creating an unnecessary risk to themselves and others.”

The Department of Health is working with health systems and hospitals to determine their current abilities to handle a surge of people needing hospitalization and the commonwealth is looking for all options to add capacity for the health care system to care for a surge of Pennsylvanians needing care.

“There is one way to make sure people don’t need to be hospitalized and we don’t strain our health care system: Stay calm. Stay home. Stay safe,” said Dr. Levine.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

# # #

ALL NON-LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES IN PENNSYLVANIA TO CLOSE PHYSICAL LOCATIONS AS OF 8 PM 3/18 TO SLOW SPREAD OF COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 19, 2020 
View Online 

ALL NON-LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES IN PENNSYLVANIA TO CLOSE PHYSICAL LOCATIONS AS OF 8 PM 3/18 TO SLOW SPREAD OF COVID-19 

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

Harrisburg, PA – 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 https://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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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/

 
MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, Governor’s Office 
BUSINESS CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-877-PA-HEALTH option 1
PUBLIC CONTACT: 1-877-PA-HEALTH option 2 
                                  Or by webform at https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/ 

 
# # # 

Coronavirus​

 

ARE YOU VISITING DELAWARE TOWNSHIP?

Try these useful tools to make the best of your visit.

Delaware Township, Pennsylvania Map