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Telephone Town Hall TONIGHT

Today at 5:30 p.m., I will hold a live Telephone Town Hall Meeting to discuss the Coronavirus. I'll will be joined by Arvind Venkat, MD, FACEP, President, Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians. 

To listen live on your phone, computer or tablet: 

Telephone Townhall

School closures to extend to April 6     

All schools in PA will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 crisisThe Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced today that all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. When it’s determined that students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day. 

Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera said his decision to close all schools for the additional period aligns with the governor’s stay-at-home directive announced today for seven counties – Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery and Philadelphia. 

What is permitted under Stay At Home?   

In Allegheny County, we are under a #StayAtHome order. I've received a lot of questions about what that means and what you're still allowed to do. Here is what is permitted: 

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including 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, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences 

  • 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 

  • To care for a family member or pet in another household 

  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or 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 .

Quarantine and your pets  

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), other animal welfare organizations, and state government agencies have developed various resources to provide animal care businesses, shelters, rescues, sanctuaries, and private pet owners with access to current information and tools to help manage their situation and make sound decisions.  Please note pet food stores and veterinary centers are also considered life-sustaining services, however, this situation is evolving quickly so pet resources may or may not be available and pet related businesses, organizations, etc. will have to evaluate whether or not to restrict opening to the public 

  • The link here, provides protocol and guidance for animal shelters, rescues, sanctuaries to navigate COVID-19.    
  • This link details important steps to expand foster networks during this critical time.   
  • The HSUS posted FAQs about pet preparedness and what people can do to help animals in need.   
  • The Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team is on standby for emergency services, and their webpage is here.   
  • The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association is working to keep information updated for both veterinarians and pet owners on their homepage. 
  • The Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania will post updates for animal shelters on their website 
  • This blog is for groups that do community outreach and pet owner support work. 

COVID-19My office is still working    

If you are having trouble with any state agency during this time, please call my office. My staff is still working. 

You can reach us at 412-241-6690.

For more information and updates, please visit  


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Offices to Serve You

  Forest Hills
1501 Ardmore Blvd. | Suite 403
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: (412) 241-6690
Fax: (412) 731-2332
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
2306 Brownsville Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Phone: (412) 884-8308
Fax: (412) 886-2080
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
314 E. Eighth Ave.
Homestead, PA 15120
Phone: (412) 462-4204
Fax: (412) 462-4543
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203043
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-7683
Fax: (717) 783-5976
8:30 am – 5:00 pm