In our Community
** On Monday, April 20, 2020 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf extended the "Stay at Home" order for residents of Montgomery County effective until Friday, May 8, 2020. **
do i need to wear a mask in public?
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an order effective April 19, 2020 that establishes protocols for protecting workers still employed at life-sustaining businesses - and the customers who visit them.
In addition to the social distancing, mitigation and cleaning protocols that employers must follow, these businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area are ordered to implement the following, based on the size of the building and number of employees:
- Require all customers to wear masks while on premises, and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of goods, except individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children the age of 2 years) may enter the premises without having to provide medical documentation;
- Conduct business with the public by appointment only and, to the extent that this is not feasible, limit occupancy to no greater than 50 percent of the number stated on their certificate of occupancy as necessary to reduce crowding in the business and at check-out and counter lines in order to maintain a social distance of 6 feet, and place signage throughout each site to mandate social distancing for both customers and employees;
- Alter hours of business so that the business has sufficient time to clean or to restock or both;
- Install shields or other barriers at registers and check-out areas to physically separate cashiers and customers or take other measures to ensure social distancing of customers from check-out personnel, or close lines to maintain a social distance between of 6 feet between lines;
- Encourage use of online ordering by providing delivery or outside pick-up;
- Designate a specific time for high-risk and elderly persons to use the business at least once every week if there is a continuing in-person customer-facing component;
- In businesses with multiple check-out lines, only use every other register, or fewer. After every hour, rotate customers and employees to the previously closed registers. Clean the previously open registers and the surrounding area, including credit card machines, following each rotation;
- Schedule handwashing breaks for employees at least every hour; and
- Where carts and hand baskets are available, assign an employee to wipe down carts and hand baskets before they become available to a new customer.
What does "stay at home" mean?
All individuals in Montgomery County must stay in their homes except for certain essential activities and work to provide life-sustaining business and government services.
Individuals may leave their residence ONLY to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:
ALLOWABLE INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES
• Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
• Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as getting food and household consumer products, pet food, and supplies necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences. This includes volunteer efforts to distribute meals and other life-sustaining services to those in need.
• Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing.
• To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business (see below for details about life-sustaining business activities).
• To care for a family member or pet in another household.
ALLOWABLE ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
• Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities (see below for details about life-sustaining business activities).
• Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
• Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
• Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction.
• Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
• Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth.
what is considered a life-sustaining business activity?
LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Life-sustaining business activities are exempt from this policy. On March 19, Governor Wolf ordered the closure of the physical locations of businesses that are not critical to sustaining life in a pandemic. Businesses can determine whether they are considered a life-sustaining business, and are therefore allowed to continue in-person, physical operations, by first referring to the Governor’s Order and the list of life-sustaining business which is available here. This list has been updated to conform with guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure issued by the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory.
If the answer remains unclear, businesses may email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for further assistance at the following email account: email@example.com. Inquiries will be answered as promptly as possible.
Businesses that are ordered closed but believe they could help mitigate this crisis by providing a life-sustaining service may apply for a waiver to re-open. This exemption is subject to continuance of and compliance with the social distancing and other mitigation measures to protect employees and the public, including virtual and telework operations (e.g. work from home) as the primary option when available.
Are residents of Montgomery County prohibited from traveling/visiting other counties?
Montgomery County residents are strongly urged to stay home and eliminate any unnecessary travel. Gov. Wolf’s "stay at home" order also includes our neighboring counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia. Employees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who travel in and out of Montgomery County between their workplace and home are being directed to work remotely.
I want to help by volunteering. How can i get involved?
Many service providers are looking for volunteers to help with some of their outreach programs, including meal delivery. Please contact RSVP if you’re interested about current opportunities:
I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE HOMELESS. IS THERE A WAY I CAN HELP?
Your Way Home Montgomery County works closely to support all of our community partners that operate emergency housing shelters. Your Way Home has created an Emergency Fund to aid those who need emergency rent, hotel accommodations, or other essential resources.
Donate Online: www,yourwayhome.org and click the "Donate" button at the top of the page
Donate by Check:
Montgomery County Foundation/Your Way Home
4 Sentry Parkway East, Suite 302
Blue Bell, PA 19422