Legal Update

May 5, 2020

Governor Wolf Releases Guidance for “Yellow Phase” Pennsylvania Counties Eligible to Reopen May 8th

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As promised (and as discussed here), the Governor of Pennsylvania released yesterday evening extensive guidance for businesses in “Yellow” counties that are permitted to reopen beginning May 8, 2020.  This guidance will likely also serve as reopening guidance for those counties that have not yet transitioned to the “Yellow” phase.  The administration makes clear that even businesses in regions that have entered the “Yellow” phase must continue telework to the extent possible before reopening in-person and relying on this guidance. 

Business choosing to reopen must abide by the administration’s previously-issued Business Safety Order (discussed here) and Building Safety Order (available here).  The guidance also includes very specific information regarding the following employee and customer safety requirements: (1) cleaning and disinfecting premises, (2) limiting the number of employees in common areas and customers on premises, (3) providing masks and sanitizing supplies for employees, (4) installing shields or other barriers at registers and checkout areas to physically separate cashiers and customers, and (5) creating a plan in case a business is exposed to a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, among other provisions.

Importantly, the guidance provides that relevant businesses must print, sign, and post the “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses” flyer on their premises in employee common spaces and, if serving the public, near the business’s public entrance.  The flyer must indicate the “Pandemic Safety Officer,” who is designated by the business to be in charge of carrying out the COVID-19 safety procedures set forth in the guidance. 

Seyfarth continues to monitor the Wolf Administration’s business-related orders in response to COVID-19 and will provide further updates as available.