Beaver Countians are being instructed to stay at home under order of Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.
Today’s mandate for Beaver County is intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), hopefully giving the healthcare system time to increase resources needed to handle an expected influx of patients.
The orders come at the urging of county commissioners.
“On Friday evening, the Beaver County Board of Commissioners reached out to our local state delegation to put a request into Governor Wolf’s office to make us a stay-at-home ordered county,” Commissioner Chairman Dan Camp told BeaverCountian.com.
“The Board feels strongly that our residents need to abide by and continue to following guidelines set by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We feel this is the only way Beaver County will get through this pandemic having the least number of people effected. With the majority of our population being in the high-risk category, it’s important everyone continues to follow these guidelines. Please stay at home and stay safe.”
Wolf announced his order during a press conference held today.
“We are seeing more than 500 cases being diagnosed (in the state) each day …” Wolf said. “We need to protect ourselves and others from spreading it … Ultimately someone’s life depends on you staying home.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Beaver County jumped to 22 today, according to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The order will be in place until at least April 6.
Beaver Countians are instructed to stay put and limit any travel unless undertaking activities that are essential to maintain their health or safety.
Along with Beaver County, Wolf also extended his order today to include Washington and Center counties.
Wolf’s original order went into effect on March 23 and covered just Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. His order has repeatedly been expended to cover a total of 15 additional counties throughout the state to include: Beaver, Berks, Butler, Center, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton, Pike, Wayne, Washington, Westmoreland and York.
The orders prohibit individuals from leaving their residences except to perform any of the following activities or travel:
– 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
– Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.
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
Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this order but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.
International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.