March 31, 2020
A major disaster declaration approved Monday night by President Donald Trump paves the way for Pennsylvania to receive additional federal assistance as it combats the coronavirus pandemic.
The declaration makes funding available to the state and eligible local governments and nonprofits for "emergency protective measures."
Gov. Tom Wolf requested the disaster declaration Sunday night.
"The COVID-19 outbreak has taxed our commonwealth and our communities in ways that are almost incomprehensible," Wolf said in a statement addressing his request.
Wolf issued his own disaster declaration on March 6, allowing him to place counties on lockdown and order schools and businesses to close. Trump announced a national emergency on March 13, freeing up $50 billion in federal funding and putting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in action.
The latest declaration will use some of that funding to help cover the costs associated with Pennsylvania's coronavirus outbreak.
The White House has approved disaster declarations for numerous states, including New Jersey, New York, California and Washington.
As of Tuesday morning, Pennsylvania had 4,087 confirmed COVID-19 cases – the ninth most in the United States. There had been 48 deaths.
About 80% of the state's population is under a "stay-at-home" order. All schools and non-life-sustaining businesses are closed indefinitely.