Department of Health Orders COVID-19 Safety Measures for Pennsylvania Businesses
On April 15th, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health issued an Order requiring that all Pennsylvania businesses, other than healthcare providers, that are authorized to maintain in-person operations implement various social distancing, mitigation and cleaning protocols to protect Pennsylvania workers and curb the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to cleaning and social distancing guidelines, some of the Order’s notable provisions are:

  • Establish protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, including:
    1. Close off areas visited by the person for 24 hours, or as long as practical, before cleaning and disinfection;
    2. Identify and notify employees who were in close contact with the person, subject to confidentiality laws, from a period of 48 hours prior to isolation of the person. Any such employees who show any signs of illness must be sent home, otherwise they should adhere to CDC guidelines;
    3. Implement temperature screenings before an employee enters the building, and send employees home with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Stagger work and break times as feasible.
  • Provide masks for employees to wear at work, making use of masks mandatory. Employees may be permitted to use their own masks in accordance with Department of Health guidelines.
  • The Secretary’s Order provides additional measures that must be undertaken for any businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area, including:
    1. Where feasible, conduct business by appointment only, and if not feasible, limit occupancy to no more than 50% of the number stated on the certificate of occupancy.
    2. Install shields at registers or check-out areas.
    3. Designate specific times for elderly and high-risk persons to use the business at least once a week.
    4. Require all customers to wear masks while on premises and deny entry to any who do not (unless the business provides medicine, medical supplies or food, in which case alternative methods for delivery or pick-up must be provided).

The Order is effective immediately and becomes enforceable at 8:00 p.m. on April 19th. Below is a link to a full copy of the Order, and a link to a previous Order regarding building safety measures. Any questions regarding this Order can be addressed to Ethan O’Shea, Esq., Chair of HRMML’s Employment Practice Group at, or at 215-661-0400 (ext. 1521).