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Coronavirus: What does a stay-at-home order mean for you?

Allegheny County along with several counties near Philadelphia are under the stay-at-home order. Gov. Wolf said the order will last for two weeks.

The order goes into effect at 8 p.m. tonight for Allegheny County. There is no curfew, according to Wolf. You’re asked to stay home indefinitely.

Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

This was not put in place for the entire state, Gov. Wolf said, because he does not want to over react. The order is only for the hardest hit areas of the outbreak.

So what does that mean for you?

The order will allow people to perform any of the following activities:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing.
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth

The following operations are exempt:

  • Life-sustaining business activities
  • Health care or medical services providers
  • Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
  • Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders.
  • News media
  • Law enforcement
  • The federal government
  • Religious institutions
  • Additionally, officials with Allegheny County said the stay at home order does not change anything in terms of what are considered life-sustaining businesses and waivers that have been put in place. Also there are no changes to the orders for restaurants to limit their operations to take-out and delivery.

The Pittsburgh Department of Parks & Recreation announced all city parks are now shut down because of Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order.

Wolf said, at this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement.

You can click here to read more on Wolf’s website.

Last week, Wolf announced he was ordering all non-life-sustaining businesses to close. Enforcement started March 23 at 8 a.m. Business owners that don’t comply could be cited, fined and have their licenses suspended.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following steps if there’s an outbreak in your community.

  • Stay home if you are sick. Keep away from people who are sick. Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet).

Put your household plan into action.

  • Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation.
  • Continue practicing everyday preventive actions. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using a regular household detergent and water.
  • Notify your workplace as soon as possible if your regular work schedule changes. Ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in your household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.
  • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. If you have a chronic medical condition and live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during an outbreak. Stay in touch with family and friends, especially those at increased risk of developing severe illness, such as older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions.