Wolf: Pa. has no plans to extend stay-at-home order

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Gov. Tom Wolf has let Pennsylvania’s health secretary, Rachel Levine, take the public lead.

Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he had no plans to follow in New York state's footsteps and extend the state's stay-at-home order amid a growing number of coronavirus cases.

Earlier Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who oversees one of six other states working together to slowly reopen the region's economy  — announced his state's stay-at-home order would be extended until May 15. 

"I don't have any plans along those lines yet," Wolf said. "That's New York, and he has to make decisions as to what he thinks is best for New York. I'm actually the governor of Pennsylvania, and as I have in the past, I will continue to look at what's best for Pennsylvanians."

Wolf's stay-at-home order is set to last through April 30. Pennsylvanians are not permitted to leave their homes, with few exceptions, which include grocery shopping and seeking medical care.

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Wolf's comments came despite the fact that he and Cuomo, along with five other Democratic governors in the Northeast, announced Monday they would work collaboratively through "working groups" aimed at slowly reopening business.

The governors of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware signed on. Later Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, also joined the group. 

Wolf's press call took place before he was expected to veto legislation sometime Thursday that would allow many businesses shuttered by his closure order to reopen. 

Businesses would have been able to do so as long as they complied with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Wolf also said he would veto separate legislation that is awaiting a concurrence vote in the state House that would give counties the ability to create their own mitigation plans — allowing businesses to open if they were to comply with the same guidelines. 

Earlier Thursday,  the state Department of Health reported that there have been 27,735 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, along with 707 deaths.

There have been 393 confirmed COVID-19 cases in York County, with four virus-related deaths.

Wolf has noted this week, though, that the state is flattening the curve due to its mitigation efforts, which included the shuttering of all non-life-sustaining businesses.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced Thursday that workers at 106 shuttered state-owned liquor stores would be back on the job to process online orders, The Associated Press reported.

The workers will only work to fulfill online orders, not public retail sales.

The day prior, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced most customers and employees at businesses still in operation will be required to wear masks starting at 8 p.m. Sunday.

“I am ordering certain actions to be taken by employers and their employees to protect their health and lives, the health and lives of their families and the health and lives of the residents of the Commonwealth who depend upon their services,” Levine said in a news release.

Among the stipulations, employers must require employees to wear masks while at the work site and require customers to wear masks while on the premises.

Businesses also must "deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the company is providing medication, medical supplies or food. In those cases, the business must offer alternative options, like pick-up or delivery of goods."

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