Wolf Administration Issues New Guidelines as Pa. Construction Industry Prepares for May 1 Reopening
With construction projects set to resume statewide next week, Gov. Tom Wolf issued new guidelines on Thursday to help the industry prepare to restart work across the Commonwealth.

According to the governor, a ll businesses in Pennsylvania that operate in the construction industry are permitted to resume their in-person operations starting Friday, May 1 – one week earlier than what was proposed in the governor's plan to reopen the state during the COVID-19 crisis.

McNees Attorneys Esch McCombie and Peter Wertz provide a summary of the new orders in the latest McNees Land Use Blog . The McNees Land Use Blog offers insight on current laws and local, state and federal policies and decisions that affect the use and development of land.

The new guidelines are based on the guidance established through the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania. The rules, according to the administration, will provide universal protocols for all construction activity, and additional direction for commercial, public and residential projects.

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf announced plans to slowly, and methodically, reopen the Commonwealth through a color-coded plan, categorizing the reopening of the state's economy into three phases: red, yellow, green. The phases will be assigned based on certain conditions relating to the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in a county, counties or region. According to the governor's office, the decision to move to a new phase will come from metrics used by the state's Department of Health and a data tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University.

McCombie and Wertz encourage all members of the construction industry, including those in new construction, renovation, and repair and in surveying, subdivision and land development, among all others, to review the new guidelines. For more information, or assistance with this or other land use issues, contact the McNees Real Estate Practice Group .
Daily COVID-19 update for Pennsylvania

The state Department of Health reported nearly 1,600 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the state total to 38,652. In addition, 1,492 Pennsylvanians have died from complications from the virus. To date, there have been more than 147,000 negative cases across the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf is still asking all Pennsylvanians who must leave their homes for life-essential reasons to wear a mask to help stop the spread of the virus . An executive order issued on April 15 requires customers entering a place of business to wear a mask.
Other News...
AARP urges state to release nursing home case numbers. AARP, the largest advocacy group for the welfare of older adults, has urged Gov. Tom Wolf to release a list Pennsylvania long-term care facilities with confirmed coronavirus cases. Of Pennsylvania's deaths related to complications from COVID-19, more than half are connected to long-term care residents and staff.

More state-run liquor stores to open curbside operations. Nearly 400 additional state-run wine and spirits locations will begin to offer curbside pickup next week. These additional stores will allow the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores to serve more customers while maintaining social distancing. Here is a list of all state-run liquor stores open for curbside operations.

Pressure mounts to allow local, small garden stores to reopen as planting season starts. With outdoor planting season starting across Pennsylvania, many Republican state lawmakers are asking Gov. Tom Wolf to reopen small garden centers throughout the Commonwealth.

Wolf stresses importance of mental health, wellness during pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf said that good mental health and wellness are essential to overcoming the impacts of the coronavirus crisis. The governor acknowledged that negative feelings and stress brought on by the pandemic could create serious issues for residents, as well as negative feelings that are also caused by anxiety. Those who feel the need for assistance can text “PA” to 741-741, or call a new toll-free support line: 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
Unprecedented times, but McNees is here to help
The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing by the hour. Capitol Buzz will do its best to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible as to local, state and federal actions relating to the virus.

As we have stated in previous editions, for those businesses seeking guidance or assistance on how to proceed during this unprecedented time, please contact the McNees Labor and Employment Practice Group , or for government relations assistance please contact the McNees Strategic Solutions Group (MSSG) . You can also visit the McNees COVID-19 Article & Resource Page for more information on various legal and political issues created by the novel coronavirus.

For more information on what you can do to protect yourself and others, check out the CDC's coronavirus information page or visit www.health.pa.gov .

The Senate stands in recess until the call of the President Pro Tempore.

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The House stands adjourned until Monday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m.

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