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Governor’s New Order: What Now?

During a July 15, 2020, press conference, Governor Tom Wolf announced new restrictions on Pennsylvania resident-activity to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new order, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2020, and shall continue until further notice, outlines some familiar precautions. Presently, all events and gatherings must adhere to these limitations:

  1. indoor events and gatherings of no more than 25 persons; and
  2. outdoor events and gatherings of no more than 250 persons.  The maximum occupancy limit includes staff. Additionally, unless not possible, all businesses are required to conduct their operations in whole, or in part, remotely through individual employee teleworking.

Over the last few weeks, Districts around the Commonwealth have been working tirelessly and ferociously to create Health and Safety Plans to prepare for the possible return of staff and students next month. Based upon our contacts at the State, we believe the provision of the Governor’s order that prohibits indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 persons does, in fact, apply to school board meetings but does not apply to the athletic or instructional setting. As a result, Districts must ensure that no school board meeting exceeds 25 persons, including staff, as noted above. If a District expects a large in-person public presence, it should move the meeting to a virtual platform, such as Zoom.

It is suspected that the Governor will provide further instruction to Pennsylvania schools in relation to their reopening in the next two (2) weeks. As always, the School Law Group at Stock and Leader continues to monitor all guidance from the Governor’s office to provide you with pertinent updates. Please contact us with any questions.

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