To request a waiver to keep your location open, please submit this form. All decisions will be communicated by email and will balance public health, safety, and the security of our industry supply chains supporting life sustaining businesses.
A list of life-sustaining businesses can be found here.
What Is Social Distancing?
Social distancing means staying away from close contact in public spaces. It includes actions like staying out of places where lots of people gather and maintaining distance — approximately 6 feet — from others.
Social distancing also includes minimizing contact with people by avoiding public transportation when possible, limiting nonessential travel, working from home, and skipping social gatherings.
All Pennsylvanians should practice social distancing — not just those who are seriously ill or at high risk.
Social distancing is a proven way to slow the spread of pandemics.
If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Workers’ Compensation (WC) benefits.
The following changes to UC have been made to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
All Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Pennsylvania will be closed for two weeks effective close of business on Monday, March 16.
Driver and vehicle online services are still available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These services include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.
More information on changes being implemented as part of PennDOT’s response to COVID-19.
Expiration DatesExpiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2020 will be extended until April 30, 2020.
Pennsylvania TurnpikeThe Pennsylvania Turnpike has temporarily suspended cash payments. Find out more about accepted forms of payment.
Rest Areas for Truck ParkingTo address safety concerns raised, PennDOT has identified 13 of its 30 rest areas in critical locations that will be available for truck parking starting March 19, 2020. See the list of locations.
As the nation continues to respond to COVID-19, be wary of potential financial scams trying to take advantage of the situation.
Here are some frequent characteristics of scams:
The news around coronavirus can be anxiety-provoking. Fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty are all normal, but it is important to take care of your mental health.
Ways to take care of yourself include:
Substance Use Disorder
If COVID-19 has you feeling down, you are not alone.
The Get Help Now hotline is a confidential, 24/7, 365 treatment and information service for individuals and families looking for help with a drug or alcohol problem.
If you are out of work without pay, you are eligible to receive food sourced from the state and federal government from a food bank or food pantry in Pennsylvania.
This includes service workers who are unable to get shifts or hourly wage employees of non-essential businesses that have voluntarily closed due to COVID-19 mitigation. Find out more about how to get emergency food assistance.
Public Assistance Programs
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is closing all county assistance offices (CAOs) statewide to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17 in coordination with Governor Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19.
In-person business will resume no sooner than Wednesday, April 1. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’ online applications and resources to apply for benefits or submit paperwork as necessary.
Meals for Students
The Pennsylvania Department of Education received approval from the federal government to allow K-12 schools in Pennsylvania closed due to COVID-19 to serve meals offsite to students.
These meals will be available at no cost to low-income children and make it possible for kids to receive nutritious meals and snacks while schools are temporarily closed.
For more information, contact your local school.
Talking to Kids About COVID-19
Children may feel frightened, overwhelmed, or traumatized by what they’re seeing and hearing about the coronavirus.
Here’s how you can reduce their fears and help them feel safe:
PSSA Testing and Keystone Exams
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has cancelled all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year as a result of COVID-19. This includes the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA).
All Pennsylvanians are asked to practice social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. That doesn’t mean it’s any less important to report child abuse.
Report suspected child abuse or neglect to ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mandated reporters can report electronically.
State Correctional Institutions
As part of the statewide COVID-19 mitigation effort, visits at all state correctional institutions are cancelled effective March 13 and for a period of 14 days.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections understands the impact that canceling visits could have on inmates and their families and friends.
Video visitation is a free service being offered to inmates and authorized visitors while visitation
is suspended at the facilities in response to COVID-19 precautions. Find out how to participate.
Governor Wolf has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. 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.
Restaurants and Bars
All restaurants and bars have been ordered to close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced steps to enforce this order beginning on Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 PM.
Businesses offering carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration’s guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
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:
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.
Resources and Loans
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic DevelopmentThe Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information can be found here as they become available.
U.S. Small Business AdministrationOn March 19, 2020, 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).
Loan applications can also be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The Wolf Administration has released the following industry-specific COVID-19 mitigation guidance:
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is committed to providing school communities with ongoing guidance, resources, and information regarding COVID-19.
You can find up-to-date guidance and answers to common questions on the Department of Education website.
News compiled by Ed Ridgway, NBA president, and marketing consultant at Main Line PR