Pennsylvania expanding stay-at-home order across more counties
HARRISBURG, PA —Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has issued a stay-at-home order across the Philadelphia region as the next step in the state’s effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
During an afternoon press conference, Wolf announced the stay-at-home order for Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.
The order starts at 8 p.m. Monday, March 23.
Additionally, the order will apply to Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, and Monroe County in the Pocono Mountains.
The stay at home order will be in place for two weeks. School closures have been extended statewide for another two weeks through at least April 6.
“I know this is going to be difficult,” Wolf said. “These restrictions are unlike anything we’ve experienced before.”
During the stay-at-home order, you may leave your home to buy food and pharmaceuticals, Wolf said. Further guidance on allowable activities is expected later Monday, Wolf said.
On Thursday, Wolf ordered that all non-essential businesses close their physical locations. Enforcement on that statewide order began Monday.
The counties that are under the stay-at-home order have had outbreaks of COVID-19, Wolf noted. He said the state is trying to take appropriate decisive action without overreacting.
As of Monday, Bucks County had 43 cases, Chester County had 40 cases, Delaware County had 54 cases, and Montgomery County had 129. Philadelphia had 128 cases as of Monday order.
Health Secretary Rachel Levine said there are 3,400 licensed ICU beds in the state. Approximately 40 percent are available as of Monday, she said. There are more than 2,000 ventilators. As of Monday, she said there is no evidence that hospitals and health systems are overwhelmed due to COVID-19. She noted the state is working to prepare hospitals for a potential surge in cases that could occur over the next few weeks.