Wolf Extends Shut Down to Entire Commonwealth, Gaming Board Shuts Down All Casinos
HARRISBURG (MAR 16 2020) -- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced this afternoon that, acting on advice of medical experts on how to stem the spread of the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, "at midnight all non-essential stores are to close in Pennsylvania." .
Governor Wolf said the order would not apply to take out food services, but that it does include "programs and facilities of seniors during the day." "Essential services," the Governor said, includes "trash collection, grocery stores, medical facilities." The Governor's office has identified "non-essential" as including
Community and recreation centers
Gyms, including yoga/spin/barre facilities
Hair salons, nail salons, and spas
Casinos, concert venues, and theaters
Sporting events facilities and golf courses
Non-essential retail facilities, including shopping malls (except for pharmacy or other health care facilities located therein)
Restaurants should stay open for carry-out and delivery only
The Governor said that he expected the shutdown to continue for two weeks. He said that he would be "constantly reevaluating" the extent and length of the shutdown.
The governor urged residents to "stay calm, stay safe, and stay home." Coronavirus infections in Pennsylvania are now at 76, in 13 counties. Without offering an explanation, the state has stopped revealing how many people have been tested for the virus and how many are waiting for results. Simultaneously, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board ordered all casinos to cease operations as of 6 am tomorrow. The order applies to Mount Airy Casino and the other five casinos in the state which did not voluntarily close before the order went into effect.
About 90 minutes later, the daily federal Coronavirus update started with an announcement by the president that all gatherings of more than ten people should be eliminated. This was an expansion over the weekend advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to limit gatherings of 50. The president also encouraged states to close non-essential services if they have community spread. Warning that the country may be heading into a recession, officials also warned the outbreak could continue for months.