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On March 18th, Pennsylvania ordered all non-life sustaining businesses to cease physical operations. However, Pennsylvania agreed to delay enforcement of the order until Monday, March 23rd, at 8 a.m. due to a high volume of waiver requests from businesses and stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth.

When Governor Wolf ordered the closing of non-life sustaining businesses, his administration published a list of businesses organized by industry groups. The list identified which industry groups were considered life sustaining and could continue physical operations and which industry groups were not.

Following publication of the list, many businesses and stakeholders sought waivers. In response to those requests, the Commonwealth amended the list on March 20th. Under the amendments, several businesses and industry groups that could remain open were added to the life sustaining list.

They included businesses in the natural resource and mining industry; dry cleaning and laundry services; specialty food stores; insurance carriers and related activities (including insurance agencies and brokerages); and accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services. These changes resulted from input received from businesses, stakeholders, and individuals in an effort to align the list with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory that was released on March 20th.

Process For Seeking A Waiver

The Commonwealth will continue to consider waiver requests. Those seeking waivers have been instructed to submit an online application. Applications will be reviewed by a team of professionals at the Department of Community and Economic Development, and responses will be based on balancing public safety with the ability to continue delivering critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified by email if they can resume operations but must remain closed in the interim. For additional information, businesses may direct inquiries to ra-dcexemption@pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH directly and select Option 1.