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Governor Wolf Extends COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

May 20, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf today signed a renewal of the state’s emergency disaster declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The renewal ensures increased support to businesses, health care organizations, and state agencies through the pandemic and as Pennsylvania continues to reopen, Governor Wolf said in a statement this afternoon.

“As previously announced, we are lifting all mitigation measures on Memorial Day, but we need just a little more time under this current disaster declaration to ensure that we do not risk valuable resources that will help Pennsylvania recover from the pandemic,” Governor Wolf said.

In his statement, Governor Wolf said he discussed the renewal with lawmakers and would continue to “collaborate on the future of this disaster declaration and any future declarations that become necessary to help Pennsylvanians in the midst of an emergency.”

On Tuesday, voters in the state’s primary election approved two ballot questions related to the state’s emergency disaster declarations, giving the Legislature the authority to extend or end the declaration through a majority vote and allowing the declaration to expire automatically after 21 days unless the General Assembly votes to extend it.

Pennsylvania’s first disaster declaration surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was issued during March 2020.

As part of Governor Wolf’s disaster declaration, the state has provided critical waivers and flexibilities related to telehealth, prior authorization, and licensing concerns.

HAP supports legislative efforts—such as House Bill 1011 and Senate Bill 671—that retain those flexibilities and waivers after the pandemic ends and carefully consider Pennsylvania’s post-COVID-19 health care needs.

For more information, contact Warren Kampf, HAP’s senior vice president, advocacy and external affairs, or or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.