Governor’s announcement today follows yesterday’s decision by Commissioners to scale County Government services to essential functions only for two weeks
The Chester County Commissioners and the County’s health and emergency services officials confirm their support for Governor Wolf’s aggressive mitigation plan for Chester County, announced this afternoon.
Details of the Governor’s plan follows the announcement by Chester County health officials earlier today of the second presumed positive case of COVID-19 in Chester County. A 30-year-old male, living in North Coventry Township, contracted the virus through exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. He is isolated at home with very mild symptoms and the Chester County Health Department has reached out to individuals who may have been in contact with him. The County’s first presumptive positive case was announced yesterday – a 56-year-old female who resides in West Pikeland Township. She contracted the virus through a known presumptive positive from another state and is recovering at home.
In addition to Governor Wolf’s announcement yesterday to close all schools in Pennsylvania for two weeks, the Governor is now closing childcare centers licensed by the Commonwealth, and adult day care centers. He is also asking for the suspension of large gatherings of 250 individuals or more in Chester County; is discouraging travel to recreational activities, movie theaters and shopping malls; and is encouraging religious leaders to exercise discretion to mitigate the spread of illness.
Details of the Governor’s plans for and requests of Chester County businesses will be issued later today.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “We are doing everything that we can to try to keep Chester County residents healthy, and this includes supporting – in Governor Wolf’s own words – the drastic but necessary measures that will slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are doing our part as both an employer and a service provider to County residents, and we encourage other businesses to do the same. We are also putting together plans now to support Chester County businesses, with advice on any funding opportunities there may be that could compensate them for loss of revenue during this time ” added Moskowitz.
The County Commissioners have already enacted Chester County Government’s plan to reduce County operations for two weeks. In a press conference held yesterday, Commissioner Moskowitz, along with Commissioners Josh Maxell and Michelle Kichline, announced their decision to suspend all non-essential services at the County government level, in order to encourage reduced travel within the County.
“The decision to move our government operations to essential services-only was not taken lightly,” said Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “Chester County Government is one of the county’s largest employers, with more than 2,400 full-time and part-time staff. We also provide services to, and for the public through many of our departments and our courts, and on any given workday, thousands of people may be walking through the doors of County government buildings.
“This was the responsible thing to do,” Maxwell added.
Commissioner Michelle Kichline said, “A few weeks ago we asked our County department leaders to review already existing plans that would allow essential services to continue in situations of extreme emergencies; to prepare for the coronavirus situation, should it escalate.
“It has escalated in the region, which is why we decided that Chester County Government move to two weeks of essential services starting from today.”
Chester County essential services include the 9-1-1 Center, the Chester County Prison, Youth Center and long-term care facility Pocopson Home. Many of the Chester County Court and court-related services, including the Coroner’s Office, remain unaffected.
Following State guidelines, Chester County Prison has implemented a no visitor policy and prison employees will be tested for coronavirus symptoms at the start of each shift.
Chester County’s long-term care facility, Pocopson Home, has also implemented a no visitor policy.
Visitors to the Chester County Youth Center will answer a series of questions to determine if they are showing signs of coronavirus. If they are, they will be turned away.
Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Library will remain closed until the morning of March 30, 2020.
Chester County Parks – Hibernia, Springton Manor, Nottingham, Warwick, Wolf’s Hollow, Black Rock and Exton Park – are closed until the morning of March 30, 2020. Chester County’s three trails – Chester Valley Trail, Schuylkill River Trail and Struble Trail – are open but with limited staffing and no amenities.
Information on the status of all other Chester County Government services during the two-week period of essential services can be found at www.chesco.org.
Up to the minute information and advice on coronavirus can be found at www.chesco.org/coronavirus