On Monday, March 16, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf strongly urged all non-essential businesses statewide to close due to the increasing health and safety threat of the COVID-19 Virus.
The shutdown of all non-essential businesses is for an initial period of 14 days. The Governor’s message has caused significant confusion in the business community related to distinguishing essential business operations and non-essential business operations. To clear the uncertainty the Wolf Administration provided the following guidance in a recent news release.
Non-essential Businesses: Includes public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, recreation facilities including but not limited to community and recreational centers; gyms; including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls expect for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations. Restaurants and bars are not permitted dine-in services or drinking inside any establishment, but can remain open for carryout, delivery and drive-through business.
Essential Businesses: These businesses include but are not limited to food processing; agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenient stores), house repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.
Other businesses such as legal services, consulting, insurance and professional services should have their employees telecommute or if not possible, employ social distancing practices and avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
Businesses are responsible to self-enforce the Governor’s recommendations in addressing this public health crisis.
Visit our COVID-19 Hub for additional information from our team to assist your business in responding to the COVID-19 crisis:
- Read Todd Pappasergi’s post about the impact of COVID-19 on governmental agencies.
- Read Frank Botta’s post about the impact of COVID-19 on business health and safety policies.
- Read David Weber’s post: Contractors and Coronavirus: Refunds of Down Payments