PHILADELPHIA - Gov. Tom Wolf has extended his order for residents to stay at home in most circumstances to almost one-third of Pennsylvania’s counties amid an increase in coronavirus cases and a dozen more deaths that brought the total to 34 for the outbreak.
The governor on Saturday extended the order to Beaver, Centre and Washington Counties, making a total of 22 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties included. The order already covered three-fourths of the state’s 12.8 million residents.
“We’re seeing this virus begin to rear its ugly head in every corner of our commonwealth,” Wolf said Saturday.
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The order restricts movement to certain health or safety-related travel, or travel to a job at an employer designated by Wolf’s administration as “life-sustaining.” The measures are designed to slow the spread of the virus and give the state’s hospitals time to increase staffing, equipment and bed space.
The stay-at-home order starts at 8 p.m. Saturday for the three newest counties, and will last until at least April 6.
The following counties are currently under the stay-at-home order:
- Allegheny County
- Beaver County
- Berks County
- Bucks County
- Butler County
- Centre County
- Chester County
- Delaware County
- Erie County
- Lackawanna County
- Lancaster County
- Lehigh County
- Luzerne County
- Monroe County
- Montgomery County
- Northampton County
- Philadelphia County
- Pike County
- Washington County
- Wayne County
- Westmoreland County
- York County
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)
There is no curfew, and no reports of police arrests for someone breaking the order. City officials under the order have generally said that enforcement is focused on letting people know about it, breaking up crowds or closing public areas to prevent people from gathering.
State heath officials announced more than 500 new cases, bringing the statewide total to more than 2,700 in 56 counties, and a dozen new deaths bringing the statewide total to 34 deaths.
The new counties became candidates for the order as increases in confirmed coronavirus cases there grew to a “significant level and we have evidence of community spread,” Levine said.
Even before Friday, Wolf had closed schools statewide, urged people statewide to stay home and ordered thousands of “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close, an order that has drawn lawsuits in federal and state courts.
Levine said those orders won’t be relaxed until there is a consistent decline in the number of new cases that shows the measures are slowing the spread of the virus.
“We’re not there yet,” Levine said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.