Governor’s Order March 19, 2020
THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA REGARDING THE
CLOSURE OF ALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE NOT LIFE SUSTAINING
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (“CDC”) have declared a novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a “public health
emergency of international concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(“HHS”) Secretary has declared that COVID-19 creates a public health emergency; and
WHEREAS, as of March 6, 2020, I proclaimed the existence of a disaster emergency
throughout the Commonwealth pursuant to 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(c); and
WHEREAS, I am charged with the responsibility to address dangers facing the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that result from disasters. 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(a); and
WHEREAS, in addition to general powers, during a disaster emergency I am authorized
specifically to control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of
persons within it and the occupancy of premises therein; and suspend or limit the sale,
dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, and combustibles. 35 Pa. C.S. §
WHEREAS, in executing the extraordinary powers outlined above, I am further authorized
during a disaster emergency to issue, amend and rescind executive orders, proclamations and
regulations and those directives shall have the force and effect of law. 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(b);
WHEREAS, in addition to my authority, my Secretary of Health has the authority to
determine and employ the most efficient and practical means for the prevention and suppression
of disease. 71 P.S. § 532(a), 71 P.S. 1403(a); and
WHEREAS, these means include isolation, quarantine, and any other control measure
needed. 35 P.S. § 521.5.
NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me and my Administration by the
laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I do hereby ORDER and PROCLAIM as follows:
Section 1: Prohibition on Operation of Businesses that are not Life Sustaining
All prior orders and guidance regarding business closures are hereby superseded.
No person or entity shall operate a place of business in the Commonwealth that is not a
life sustaining business regardless of whether the business is open to members of the public.
This prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations (e.g., work from home), so long
as social distancing and other mitigation measures are followed in such operations.
Life sustaining businesses may remain open, but they must follow, at a minimum, the
social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the Centers for Disease
Control to protect workers and patrons. A list of life sustaining businesses that may remain
open is attached to and incorporated into this Order.
Enforcement actions will be taken against non-life sustaining businesses that are out of
compliance effective March 21, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
Section 2: Prohibition on Dine-In Facilities including Restaurants and Bars
All restaurants and bars previously 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, so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are employed to
protect workers and patrons. Enforcement actions will be taken against businesses that are out
of compliance effective March 19, 2020, at 8 p.m.
Section 3: Effective Date and Duration
This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.