Pennsylvania Department of Health Updates Guidelines for COVID-19 Protection

Paige Dalto, Head Copy Editor

In spite of the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DoH) has gracefully kept up with the changes and offers daily updates on COVID-19 developments. 

Along with their daily updates, the PA DoH features guidelines on their website including an interactive map showing statewide cases, symptoms of the virus, stay-at-home orders, and general information for citizens and businesses. 

The website guide specifically offers information to struggling workers and families under the “For Individuals” section. This segment provides details on unemployment compensation, financial help, food assistance, driver services, and correctional institutions throughout the state.

The site clearly provides answers to frequent questions from concerned Pennsylvanians. These statements include defining social distancing and outlining the specifics of the now statewide stay-at-home order, including what activities are acceptable at the given time.

Travel is allowed, according to the guidelines, but only for life-sustaining activities.  These can include getting prescriptions, food, or necessary work materials. The department has even specified that the stay-at-home order will not affect child custody orders and that the current crisis is no excuse to attempt to violate custody arrangements.

Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, or running are still options for Pennsylvanians as long as those participating maintain proper social distancing.

If caring for a family member or pet in another household, travelling to their residence is allowed under the guidelines. 

The DoH has even allowed volunteer efforts in the guidelines, such as distributing meals or working with other life-sustaining services.

All restaurants and bars across the state have been ordered to close the dine-in aspect of their facilities, but many are still available for delivery or take-out options. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has also encouraged the closure of all non-essential businesses such as retail, arts and entertainment facilities, a majority of manufacturing, and general social organizations. Governor Wolf has asked religious organizations to exercise discretion in order to reduce the spread of the virus but also stated that they will face no repercussions. 

Governor Wolf extended the closure of all PA schools indefinitely with the stay-at-home order lasting until April 30th, as of now.

For daily updates and information about coronavirus, visit the Department of Health’s website.