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PennsylvaniaGov. Tom Wolfannounced on Monday that schools statewide would remain shut “until further notice” and the stay-at-home orders intact until April 30 to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis.
The extension comes one day after President Trump announced extended quarantine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., which is struggling to deal with the 153,246 cases and counting.
In Pennsylvania, 26 additional counties were added to the statewide mandate, which strongly advises all nonessential workers to stay at home and work from home where possible. Residents are being told to only leave their houses for necessities such as groceries or medical supplies and to practice social distancing.
Shortly after Wolf’s announcement, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced it had received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to waive certain criteria and allow all schools in the state to offer free meals to children.
“Schools and community organizations can now use recent and local economic data, including unemployment claims and business closures, to request approval from PDE to qualify as an open meal site,” said Vonda Ramp, PDE state director for Child Nutrition Programs. “Once approved, they can provide meals to all children in their community, age 18 and under, for free.”
The waiver is expected to add to the 1,600 meal-distribution sites already in existence in Pennsylvania and ensure that children have access to food despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced non-life sustaining businesses to close and left many without a job.
Currently, there are 4,090 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Pennsylvania and 50 people have died.
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