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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, left, and Health Secretary Rachel Levine

Farm businesses may need to adapt their operations in response to Pennsylvania’s tightened mask and travel rules. The rules, announced Tuesday, November 17 come as new COVID-19 cases surpass even the highs seen this spring at the beginning of the pandemic.

Starting Wednesday at midnight, everyone over the age of 2 must wear a face covering indoors and outdoors when away from home.

The New COVID-19 Restrictions Include:

  • Indoors or in an enclosed space with people who are not from their household, regardless of the distance between them.
  • Outdoors with people from outside their household and unable to remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • When working in any space where food is prepared, packaged for sale, or prepared for distribution to others.

Face Coverings Do Not Need to Be Worn If:

  • The person is working alone with little expectation of in-person interaction.
  • Masking would create unsafe work conditions.
  • A face covering would cause medical problems for the wearer.
  • A person needs to communicate with someone who has hearing impairment and needs to see the speaker’s mouth.

The face covering order applies to all indoor facilities, including homes and retail establishments.

Businesses must require all people, whether employees, customers or visitors, to wear a face covering, and must take reasonable steps to enforce this requirement.

Businesses may decline service to people who are not wearing a face covering or who claim to have a condition that prevents them from wearing one, so long as the business attempts to provide a reasonable accommodation such as curbside pickup.

New COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Health Secretary Rachel Levine also ordered that anyone who visits Pennsylvania from another state must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the commonwealth.

If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, the person must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvanians visiting other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to the commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania.

This order, which takes effect on Friday, Nov. 20, does not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work or medical treatment.

Pennsylvania joins Vermont and other states that have increased travel restrictions and other precautions as virus cases spike.

COVID-19 has infected over 11 million people and killed more than 246,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Newsletter

On Sept. 21, the USDA instituted a second round of funding, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2, to ease at least some of the pain and fiscal stress the crisis has caused farmers, ranchers and growers. Read more