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COVID-19 Update: What Is a “Life Sustaining” Business?

access_time Posted on: March 24th, 2020
COVID-19: What is a “life sustaining” business?

In the wake of Governor Wolf’s March 19, 2020 Order mandating closures for COVID-19 mitigation, which was amended March 20, 2020, to close all but “life sustaining” businesses, many Pennsylvania companies have been left without clear guidance as to whether they are required to close or not. Some business, like hospitals and grocery stores, clearly fall in the “life sustaining” category, while others, like movie theatres and retail clothing stores, clearly do not. 


For businesses that do not fall into such clear categories, the Commonwealth’s list of “life sustaining” businesses does not necessarily clarify things, nor does guidance on the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website. To further complicate matters, the comments for some business categories reference the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (“CISA”) guidance, which those businesses must anayze in order to determine whether their activities are considered “Critical Infrastructure” and they may continue operations. 

CGA is assisting clients with evaluating their operations under the Governor’s mandate and assisting with determining whether they are “life sustaining” or involved in “critical infrastructure.” In cases where waivers/exemptions are warranted, CGA attorneys have helped draft responses to key questions required to complete the Request for Waiver/Exemption to Business Closure form.  

Businesses with questions concerning their status or seeking a waivers should contact a CGA attorney.

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Businesses with questions concerning their status or seeking a waiver should contact a CGA attorney.

  • View Governor Wolf’s order HERE.
  • View an updated list of industry subsections and groups that may or may not continue physical operations HERE.

If you would like clarification on the closure order or assistance in completing a waiver, please contact a CGA Law Firm attorney (CGA attorneys).

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