Wolf Defends Call To Close Non-Essential Businesses In PA

The governor says it's going to get worse before it gets better

Andrew Limberg
March 20, 2020 - 2:38 pm
Governor Tom Wolf talking about COVID-19

PA Cast


HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Governor Tom Wolf is defending his decision to close all non-life-essential businesses.

During a virtual press conference Friday, Wolf said that with the “rapid spread” of COVID-19 his mitigating strategy is crucial to keep the health care system from being overrun.

Wolf says the guidelines of what closes and what stays open came from guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“I cannot allow these surging numbers to overwhelm our people, our healthcare workers and our hospitals,” said Wolf. “Limiting exposure by closing physical locations means fewer Pennsylvanians will become sick at the same time, fewer Pennsylvania’s will die and we can prevent worse case scenarios for our health care professionals.”

Wolf adds that they won’t do everything perfectly but that they are doing the best they can.

Some businesses that are currently being told to close, and believe they are a vital and life-essential business can sign up to get an exemption to stay open.

Wolf says the state is working on finalizing a $60 million low-interest loan program to help small businesses.

Federal loans are also available for small businesses and non-profits.

Wolf says the Federal government has been “very responsible” to the needs of the states, including Pennsylvania.

Wolf also added that the coronavirus situation will become more serious over the next few weeks until “there is a significant decline in new cases demonstrated over a period of time,” 

“The difficult decisions we make now will make it possible for our health care workers to manage this crisis as we see the full brutality of the virus in the coming weeks,” added Wolf.


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