Process to Reopening Pennsylvania
On April 22, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced his detailed plan for reopening Pennsylvania. As of July 3, all PA counties are in the green phase of reopening. While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of the disease remains at a minimum.
Businesses and workers need to safely get back to work. Unless not possible, all businesses are required to conduct their operations remotely through individual teleworking of their employees in the jurisdiction(s) in which they do business. When telework is not possible, employers may conduct in-person business operations, provided that the businesses fully comply with the business safety order, the worker safety order, and the masking order.
In all phases, we must continue to:
- Wear masks in public.
- Keep our physical distance of six feet or more.
- Wash our hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
- Limit group gatherings and crowds.
Reaching the green phase is a real victory. When put to the test, we are proving our resilience. But we aren’t going back to the way things were before. Now is the time to stay alert so we can keep COVID-19 contained.
- General safety rules are still in place. Keep wearing your mask to enter a business, stay six feet apart, and follow all the general health and safety rules as before. This is our new normal.
- We can gather in groups for events. Starting Oct. 6, 2020, venues hosting events or gatherings must determine their established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code and then apply the attendee calculator to determine how many attendees are permitted to attend the event or gathering. Visit the Maximum Occupancy Calculator for Indoor and Outdoor Events webpage.
Schools and most childcare centers must still follow the Department of Education rules for operating. Nursing homes and group care facilities still have visitor restrictions. Prisons and hospitals can decide their own visitor policies for each facility.
- All businesses can reopen. Please keep teleworking if you can. All businesses, except for restaurants and bars that were operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75% occupancy. To reopen in-person operations you must follow all the worker and building safety requirements for employers. Remember to check the COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page for more details.
There are still restrictions for reopening businesses that work with the public. You must limit occupancy if your business is in one of the following categories:
- Restaurants and bars can open indoor dining, up to 50% occupancy if they self-certify. If they do not self-certify, they must remain at 25% indoor capacity
- Indoor recreation can have up to 50% occupancy, and appointments recommended (including indoor malls, bowling, arcades, indoor sports, go-kart, pool halls, and similar facilities)
- Health and wellness can have up to 50% occupancy, but customers can enter by appointment only (this applies to gyms, spas, barbershops, hair and nail salons, saunas, tattoo parlors, massage therapists and other personal care service businesses)
- Entertainment may have up to 50% occupancy (like casinos, theaters, zoos, museums, concerts, historical sites, amusement parks, and other group venues)
Industry Guidance and Resources
To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, limit the chances for infection. We encourage you to keep teleworking where possible. If telework or remote work is not an option, there are the things you need to do to open and operate safely. Below is a list of resources and industry guidance for your business or industry.
- Building Safety Measures
- Worker and Business Safety Order
- Construction Guidance
- Real Estate Industry
- Restaurant Industry Guidance
- Guidance for Agriculture
- Guidance for Banks
- Guidance for Salons
- Guidance for Barber Shops
- PPE & Supplies for Businesses
Printable Business Safety Signs
You must print, sign, and post the COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses near all public entrances and in worker common areas. Signs should be easy to spot. Two sizes are available for download. You need to only hang one version of the sign, so use the size that works best for your printer.
One is for standard legal-sized paper (8.5×14 inches) and only uses one piece of paper.
The second option is for letter-sized paper (8.5×11 inches) and uses two pieces of paper.
Sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Providing PPE to your workers helps protect their health and safety. PPE can include:
- Face shields
- Hand sanitizer
- Medical gowns
- Cleaning supplies and disinfectants
The high demand for PPE can make it hard to find. To help, we have a list of PPE manufacturers and suppliers in Pennsylvania.
Employers & Unemployment Compensation
If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you can visit the Employer COVID-19 FAQ Page for more information.
Businesses who are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will be granted Relief From Charges, and your tax rate will not be increased because of COVID-19-related claims.
The PA Department of Labor & Industry has programs to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Shared-Work program can help keep employees attached to your workplace by allowing an employer to temporarily reduce work hours rather than resorting to layoffs. You can reach the Shared-Work team at email@example.com.
However, if you are a business that has had to close either temporarily, consider layoffs, or is financially at-risk for permanent closure the Rapid Response Assistance Program is available to assist you with a variety of services and resources to help you and your employees. You can reach the Rapid Response team via email at RA-LI-BWPO-Rapid@pa.gov.
Health and Safety Guidance, Fact Sheets, and COVID-19 Information for Businesses
We have received questions and requests for life-sustaining business guidance amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The below resources are in response to those questions.
- Agricultural Auctions & Markets COVID-19 Guidance (PDF)
- COVID-19 Business Risk Assessment Tool (PDF)
- Case, Contact, and Contact of a Contact Infographic
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal
Questions? Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (7.877.724.3258).
Local Assistance Partners
Businesses have a vast network of services that they can contact to discuss the impact of the Coronavirus on their daily operations and the future of their business. DCED staff and local partner networks are available to help businesses through this challenging time. The following contacts and resources are available to assist affected businesses.
Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop
The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is a state government office equipped with knowledge, information, and resources for businesses both large and small. Serving as the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development concerns, the team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operating and expanding.
Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP)
The Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance network of trained and experienced business experts offer one-on-one counseling, specialized workshops, online training, and financial incentives to support the growth and resiliency of Pennsylvania businesses.
PA Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The PA Small Business Development Centers are the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. he SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 18 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth. Offices are conveniently hosted at 18 universities and their 90 outreach centers across Pennsylvania.
Industrial Resource Centers (IRC)
The Industrial Resource Centers are a network of seven private, nonprofit IRCs located strategically throughout Pennsylvania. The IRCs were established to help manufacturers respond to changing markets, new technology and the competitive pressures of today’s global economy. Working collaboratively, company by company, their mission is to help manufacturers envision where they want to be and assist them to achieve it, in addition to giving a voice to an increasingly vital part of Pennsylvania’s economy.
PA Chamber of Business and Industry
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is dedicated to helping business across the Pennsylvania. Now that the coronavirus has made its way to the United States, businesses are seeking information to help their company, their employees and their families. The PA Chamber has compiled many resources and guidance to help businesses prepare.
Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN)
The Strategic Early Warning Network provides specialized turnaround consulting services to support manufacturing companies. These services can help restructure, stabilize, and rekindle business growth for small-to-medium sized manufacturers in Pennsylvania that are experiencing economic hardship.