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Politics and Government

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Orders Statewide Shutdown Over Coronavirus

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a press conference in Harrisburg about the arrival of coronavirus in Pennsylvania on Friday, March 6, 2020. At rear is state Health Secretary Rachel Levine.
COMMONWEALTH MEDIA SERVICES

 

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HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday ordered a statewide shutdown as the number of coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania continued to grow.

The shutdown will be in place for two weeks, said Wolf, who urged residents to “stay calm, stay safe, stay home.”

“We’re going to get through this,” he said.

The governor had previously placed four counties — Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery — under a shutdown order. That involved asking non-essential businesses like gyms, hair salons, and concert venues to close for 14 days. Wolf said pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations should stay open.

Residents there were urged to curtail any non-essential travel.

On Sunday, Wolf ordered restaurants in those four counties as well as Allegheny County to close their dine-in facilities. Wolf extended that request to restaurants statewide on Monday.

Also on Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared a statewide judicial emergency until April 14, 2020.

Under the emergency declaration, county president judges can, among other changes, restrict or temporarily close court facilities and authorize using technology to conduct court proceedings.

The order, court officials stressed, would not affect a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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