On November 23, 2020, Governor Wolf signed his latest Order designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a full copy of which can be found here.

This Order replaces and supersedes numerous Orders that were issued earlier this year regarding the closure and opening of business in the midst of the pandemic. The Governor’s Order sets forth requirements for non-health care providers that maintain in-person operations. They include:

Teleworking – Businesses are directed to conduct operations remotely “unless impossible,” in which case they must comply with the Governor’s Order and all guidance issued by the Governor, the Department of Health and/or the CDC.

Cleaning and Mitigation Protocols – In addition to certain cleaning specifications, the Order directs the following:

  • Temperature screening for all employees before they enter the building;
  • Staggered employee start/break/stop times;
  • Social distancing measures;
  • Conduct meetings/training remotely whenever possible;
  • Employees wear face coverings consistent with the Secretary of Health’s Order dated November 17, 2020;
  • Prohibition of non-essential visitors; and
  • Employees who are ill must not report to work, and any employees who become ill while at work must be sent home.

Contact Tracing – Employers are directed to identify employees and customers, to the extent possible, who were in close contact (within 6 feet for about 15 minutes) with a person with COVID-19 from the period 48 hours before onset of symptoms, or 48 hours prior to a COVID-19 test if asymptomatic, to the time when the employee or customer first isolated. Employees who were in close contact with such persons must self-quarantine per DOH guidance.

What Some Business Owners and Managers Need to Do Now:
The Governor’s Order has specific requirements for businesses serving the general public regarding social distancing, signage, masking and capacity. It sets forth more particular requirements/limitations for certain industries including the entertainment industry, gyms and physical fitness, personal care services, and bars/restaurants.

Business owners and managers in those industries are advised to read the Order closely for directives specific to their business, and pay particular attention to the penalties that can be imposed for violation of the Order.

Should you have questions about this Order or other COVID-19 matters pertaining to your business, please contact our Employment Law chair, Ethan R. O’Shea, Esq. at: eoshea@hrmml.com. He is standing by to advise you.