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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: State Delays Enforcement Of Order Closing All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses

PHILADEPHIA (CBS) -- Pennsylvania officials say Gov. Tom Wolf's order to close all non-life-sustaining businesses, originally scheduled to be enforced at midnight on Saturday, has been delayed. Officials say the state will now begin enforcing the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Officials say the enforcement has been delayed to the high volume of waiver requests to stay open from businesses.

The order, issued Thursday night, comes as health officials attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

On a normal Friday night, Fairmount Avenue would be packed with people going to dinner or their local bar. But these are everything but normal times.

The businesses that were forced to close are feeling the heat.

"That's my main concern is, how am I going to keep providing?" Burke & Payne Barber Company barber Carlos Oliveira said.

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Worry is beginning to settle into businesses deemed non-life-sustaining.

"I really don't know what else to do work-wise besides cutting hair," Oliveira said. "That's all I can really do."

Oliveira is a barber in the Bella Vista neighborhood. Wolf ordered barbershops to shut down Thursday as state officials try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"It's looking a little tight because, with our small business, I don't know. We rely on this," Oliveira said. "We don't get paid salary, we don't get paid hourly. We rely on each person coming in for a haircut."

Other businesses categorized as non-life-sustaining include clothing stores, tax preparation offices, florists and specialty stores.

Businesses that can remain open include grocery stores, big-box retailers, gas stations, doctors, dentists and veterinarian offices, appliance repair shops and laundromats.

Restaurants can only offer takeout service. Hardware shops can stay open and so can car repair shops.

A Jiffy Lube on City Avenue will still be doing repairs, but customers were told to wait in their cars as opposed to going into the waiting room.


Also allowed to stay open are packaging and delivery services. The UPS Store on North 3rd Street in Northern Liberties remains open, but they're also taking it day by day.

"Come Monday -- today's Friday -- come Monday, who knows what's going to happen," UPS store employee Dwight Fowler Davis said.

Wolf didn't say how long the orders will be in place.

For a full list of non-life-sustaining businesses as defined by the state, click here.
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