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Pennsylvania

Pa. Extends Coronavirus School, Business Closures, Trump Approves Disaster Declaration

The state's stay-at-home order was also pushed back to April 30 affecting more than 10.1 million Pennsylvanians

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Schools and businesses in Pennsylvania will remain closed until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state's governor said on Monday.

"Our business and school closures will no longer have a set date to resume normal operations," Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said at a news conference from Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania leaders had been making decisions about the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses and schools on a two week basis, Wolf said.

Confirmed COVID-19 infections swelled to 4,152 cases with 50 deaths as of Monday. Wolf said the continued growth warranted the indefinite extension.

"We're going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe," he said.

Wolf also pushed back his stay-at-home order for Pennsylvanians living in 26 counties to April 30 bringing state guidance in line with federal government recommendations issued Sunday. More than 10.1 million of the state's 12.8 million residents fall under the order.

Click here for a link to what you can and can't do during a stay-at-home order.

Carbon, Cumberland and Dauphin counties were added to the stay-at-home order on Monday. They join: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.

The stay-at-home order only permits residents to leave home for life-sustaining reasons like grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, tending to a family member or visiting a hospital for emergency care. They may also take short walks or runs outside for exercise, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The coronavirus response expansion comes a day after Wolf asked President Donald Trump to declare a disaster in the state.

Monday night, Trump approved the declaration, meaning additional federal funding and support will be available to Pennsylvania as the coronavirus battle continues.

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