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April 15, 2020
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Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Dr. Rachel Levine, under her authority as Secretary of the Department of Health to take any disease control measure appropriate to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

“This order provides critical protections for the workers needed to run and operate these life-sustaining establishments," Governor Wolf said. "Businesses across the state have already begun to implement many of these protocols on their own, and we applaud their efforts to protect employees and customers."

“This order will ensure continuity across all life-sustaining businesses and will further our efforts to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians," Dr. Levine said. "Together, we can all help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The order establishes protocols to help employees maintain a social distance during work:

Upon discovery of an exposure to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, businesses are also ordered to implement temperature screenings before employees enter the business prior to the start of work and send any employee home who has an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with the health care providers and state and local health departments. Employers are encouraged to implement liberal paid time off for employees who are on home isolation.

Upon an exposure, businesses are also ordered to do the following:

In addition to the social distancing, mitigation and cleaning protocols, businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area are ordered to implement the following, based on the size of the building and number of employees:

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines, or license suspensions. Compliance with the order will be enforced beginning Sunday, April 19 at 8:00 PM.

The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the full extent of the law:

“It is vital that we require businesses to practice these common-sense and scientifically proven safety protocols for the protection of workers and the public at-large. And that is what this order does,” said state Senator Tina Tartaglione, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee. “Many of the measures included in this order were part of legislation that I proposed. I applaud this swift action by Secretary Levine and Governor Wolf to implement these much needed protocols.”

This order follows another order by Dr. Levine providing direction for maintaining and cleaning buildings for businesses authorized to maintain in-person operations under her and Governor Tom Wolf’s life-sustaining business orders announced March 19.

Governor Tom Wolf also recommends that Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons.

View Secretary Levine’s order as a PDF here or on Scribd.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Lyndsay Kensinger, Governor’s Office, RA-GVGOVPRESS@pa.gov
Nate Wardle, Department of Health, ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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