Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, and Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey today announced that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is joining their coalition to implement a regional approach to combatting COVID-19.
The four governors announced indoor portions of large retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys in the four states will close by 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
This is an expansion of the orders the three governors from the tri-state area issued Monday. That order – which Pennsylvania has also adopted – limits crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people. The governors also announced restaurants and bars would close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. The governors also temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms, and casinos.
Governor Lamont’s executive order on today’s announcement pertaining to large retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys will provide further specifics on these closures and is expected to be released later this evening.
Governor Lamont said, “This is a fast moving and quickly evolving public health emergency, and making these kinds of important decisions as a region makes more sense than a patchwork approach. We will combat this virus by working together and remaining consistent across our borders and I’m proud to work with my fellow governors in this effort.”
Governor Cuomo said, “In the absence of national standards, we are doing everything we can as states to reduce density and contain the spread of the virus. It is critical that we remain on the same page as our neighboring states, and so far we are the only region in the country partnering to create uniform, regional density reduction policies that prevent ‘state shopping.’ We will continue working together to update our regulations and guidance as the situation evolves while keeping a consistent standard across the region.”
Governor Murphy said, “Given the population density of the Northeast, a coordinated response effort to encourage social distancing benefits all of our residents and strengthens our greater regional preparedness. By working together to identify and enact these measures, we can potentially slow the spread of coronavirus and save thousands of lives.”
Governor Wolf said, “Pennsylvania is working aggressively to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A regional approach to this threat is smart, and I am grateful for all of the work by my colleagues in neighboring states. Joining these leaders will help Pennsylvania mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with a coordinated approach.”