HARRISBURG – House Republican leaders issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today of a statewide “shut-down”:
“We are encouraged by the efforts of the Trump and Wolf administrations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Information regarding the virus and its widespread implications can become confusing at times, and we applaud the efforts of state and federal health officials to keep all citizens safe and informed.
“We feel compelled to respond on behalf of the hundreds of business owners in Pennsylvania we have heard from in the last few hours who feel blind-sided by today’s ‘statewide’ shutdown announcement and confused by what it actually means.
“First, the governor has not mandated the immediate closure of any businesses in Pennsylvania. He has ‘strongly urged’ that ‘non-essential’ businesses shut down as part of social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
“We agree this is a time to limit exposure to large groups of people, but if you, or a business owner you know, wishes to remain in business, it is their right to do so.
“The governor has mandated bars and restaurants to end dine-in service. Food establishments can still operate take-out and delivery services. This is an enforceable action, as restaurants and bars fall under the purview of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the Department of Health.
“We are disappointed the governor did not issue an updated press release, or an executive order, to make this announcement. Media reports statewide have mischaracterized the order, and no further clarification was announced by the Wolf administration. Instead business owners, many of whom have already made massive changes to protect themselves and clients from spreading the virus, shuttered their doors.
“We strongly urge the governor to clarify the order to give business owners and the Pennsylvanians who rely on their services the guidance they deserve in these difficult times.”
House Republican Leadership
Pennsylvania House of Representatives