Building Safety Measures

From the PA Department of Health and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

Pa Department of Health:
Order of the Secretary of the PA Department of Health Directing Building Safety Measures

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a contagious disease that is rapidly spreading from person to person in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. COVID-19 can be transmitted from people who are infected with the virus even if their symptoms are mild, such as a cough. Additionally, exposure is possible by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or eyes.

​COVID-19 is a threat to the public’s health, for which the Secretary of Health may order general control measures, including, but not limited to, closure, isolation, and quarantine. This authority is granted to the Secretary of Health pursuant to Pennsylvania law. See Section 5 of the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. §§ 521.1, 521.5; sections 2102(a) and 2106 of the Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P.S. §§ 532(a), 536; and the Department of Health’s (Department’s) regulations at 28 Pa. Code §§ 27.60-27.68 (relating to disease control measures; isolation; quarantine; movement of persons subject to isolation or quarantine; and release from isolation and quarantine). Particularly, the Secretary has the authority to take any disease control measure appropriate to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease. See 35 P.S. §§ 521.5; 71 P.S. § 532(a), 1402(a); 28 Pa. Code § 28.60.

Cleaning, disinfecting, and other maintenance and security services performed by building service employees are critical to protecting the public health by reducing COVID19 infections in the Commonwealth. Based upon the manner of COVID-19’s spread in the Commonwealth and in the world, and its danger to Pennsylvanians, I have determined that the appropriate disease control measure is the direction of building safety measures as outlined in this order to prevent and control the spread of disease.

Accordingly, to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19, I hereby order:
Where a business is authorized to maintain in-person operations pursuant to the Orders issued by the Governor and Secretary of Health on March 19, 2020, as subsequently amended, including businesses operating pursuant to exemptions from those Orders, owners of buildings of at least 50,000 square feet used for commercial, industrial or other enterprises, including but not limited to facilities for warehousing, manufacturing, commercial offices, airports, grocery stores, universities, colleges, government, hotels, and residential buildings with at least 50 units, shall implement the following cleaning protocols in those areas where operations are conducted:

  1. In addition to maintaining pre-existing cleaning protocols established in the facility, as specified in paragraph (2) below, clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines, in spaces that are accessible to customers, tenants, or other individuals;
  2. Maintain pre-existing cleaning protocols established in the facility for all other areas of the building;
  3. Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of employees to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of occupants and employees;
  4. Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of security employees to control access, maintain order, and enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet, provided the security employees are otherwise responsible for such enforcement.

This Order shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 6, 2020. Rachel Levine, MD Secretary of Health. 

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