Q: What is included in the new PA Department of Health Order for Mitigation of COVID-19 that was issued this week and how may it impact my business?

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A: On November 17th, the Department of Health announced an Order for Mitigation relating to travel to and from the Commonwealth of PA AND re-issued the Order of Universal Face Coverings. 

The Order of Health for Mitigation Relating to Travel is effective 12:01 a.m. November 20, 2020.  The order requires individuals entering Pennsylvania from any other State or Country to either have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania. The test must be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and paid by the traveler’s own expense. 

The Travel Frequently Asked Questions on the department’s website, outlines the requirement with FAQ’s including exemptions for travel relating to work, medical, military personnel and individuals in transit through Pennsylvania. Individuals who do not comply with the order may be fined up to $300.00. 

Since this is a State Mandate, employees who are unable to work remotely and required to quarantine based on this order, may qualify for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Act (set to expire on 12/31/2020).

In addition, the Governor issued an Updated Order of Universal Face Coverings effective November 18, 2020, 12:01 a.m. Individuals are required to wear a face mask indoors, outdoors and in motor vehicles, regardless of distance, when accompanied by anyone outside the individual’s immediate household. Universal Face Coverings Frequently Asked Questions also addresses when a face covering is required to be worn in the workplace or office. Exemptions from the order are addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions and the Order.

We recommend employers review the orders and related Frequently Asked Questions and determine if changes are needed to your employee policies relating to COVID-19. 

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