I have spoken with many constituents and business owners who are concerned and have questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus. The situation is fluid and changing on an hour-by-hour basis. I am in constant contact with the governor’s office, state health officials, local elected officials, medical providers, and business owners who have questions and are looking for answers. I want to share with you what I have learned and provide an update on the latest developments.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced a “stay-at-home” order for southeastern Pennsylvania, including Chester County. The governor’s instructions direct individuals to leave their residences only for “essential activities” that include “life sustaining” services. This would include going to the store to get food or medicine, going to the doctor, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. This order will remain in place for two weeks.
In addition, the governor extended the statewide school shutdown until at least April 6. More information on this is available on the governor’s website
During this time, an employee of a “life sustaining” business can travel to go to work. The latest guidance from the governor on what constitutes a life sustaining business is available here
The Legislature is meeting today and tomorrow. There is much to do, but probably the thing I have received the most questions about is the primary election. This is likely to be addressed this week, with the primary date moving to June.
To further assist you in sorting out the rapidly changing information, I am sending you some important web links that will provide you with fact-based and updated information that you may find helpful as we all navigate these extraordinary times together. If you have specific questions about the coronavirus that are not addressed in these links, I want you to know my staff and I are available. While the Jennersville office is temporarily closed to in-person meetings, you can reach us at the regular office phone number, as we have forwarded the phones. Please do not hesitate to call us at 610-869-1602
Chester County Health Department
Our own Chester County Health Department is leading the local response to the COVID-19 coronavirus in both Chester and Delaware counties
Pennsylvania Department of Health
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is coordinating the state’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus under Sec. Rachel Levine
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Gov. Wolf has ordered all businesses across Pennsylvania to close, except those deemed “life sustaining.” Life sustaining businesses include food production, grocery stores, drug stores, and many others. The governor has updated the list several times, and an exception process is in place. Updated details about different categories of businesses, along with the process for granting an exception, are available at this website
I have been in regular contact with staff at Jennersville Hospital in recent days regarding the coronavirus situation to ensure continuity of care in these unprecedented times
Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce
Under the leadership of Cheryl Kuhn, the chamber has robust information and resources for business owners dealing with the challenges presented by the coronavirus. Cheryl and I are in daily contact to ensure the latest information is available to our local small business owners. Their COVID-19 webpage
is a very good resource for local small business owners.
Deadline to file Income Taxes extended from April 15 to July 15
Both the federal Internal Revenue Service
and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
have extended this year’s deadline to file your taxes from April 15 to July 15. Additional information is available on their websites. If you need tax forms, please contact my office and let us know which forms you need. We will mail them to you.
Representative John Lawrence
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham