York City inspectors to seek out noncompliance with Wolf's closure order

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
WellSpan's second drive-thru coronavirus testing site in York County is open at the York Expo Center, Friday, March 20, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York City Police, Fire Department staff and property maintenance inspectors will mobilize Monday afternoon to ensure that all city businesses follow the state and city's COVID-19 closure orders.

Between six and eight fire officials and property managers, along with on-duty police officers, are expected to begin patrolling the city streets by 2 p.m, said Fire Chief Chad Deardorff. They will survey the entire city.

The patrolling will come as the state's confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday climbed to 644, 10 of which are in York. There have been three total deaths.

"(This is) to see if the businesses that are open fall under the essential category or if they are nonessential," Deardorff said. "Then we will address them as we find them."

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Gov. Tom Wolf last week ordered all "non-life-sustaining" businesses to close, the state's most recent efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Life-sustaining businesses exempted under the order include hospitals; pharmacies; food production; farming; thepostal service; gas stations; and grocery stores. 

Bars and restaurants, however, are able able to offer delivery and takeout.

In York City, businesses out of compliance will first be given a warning. If they do not close, owners could face fines ranging from $25 to $500.

Further noncompliance, though, could result in up to 30 days in jail, Deardorff said. 

The citywide enforcement includes Mayor Michael Helfrich's order to limit gathering spaces of more than 50 people.

The Pennsylvania State Police on Monday also began to enforce Wolf's orders.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.