Skip Navigation

York City declares disaster emergency ahead of ‘inevitable’ arrival of coronavirus

  • Rachel McDevitt/StateImpact Pennsylvania
PeoplesBank Park in York as seen on Oct. 18, 2019.

Ian Sterling for WITF

PeoplesBank Park in York as seen on Oct. 18, 2019.

With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is to equip you with the information you need. Rather than chase every update, we’ll try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See all of our stories here.

What you should know
» Coronavirus facts & FAQ
» Map: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and around the world
» How to prepare your home for coronavirus

(Harrisburg) — Midstate cities are starting to prepare for the arrival of the coronavirus.

York County does not have any confirmed cases of the illness as of Thursday afternoon, but York City Mayor Michael Helfrich said its spread to the area is inevitable.

He signed a disaster emergency declaration Thursday, which he said will help the city be more flexible during an outbreak of COVID-19, allowing it to reassign staff or hire health care workers.

“This declaration in no way shuts down the City of York,” Helfrich said. “We are open for business. We’re just taking precautions.”

The city’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee cancelled the event scheduled for Saturday, March 14.

Helfrich said the city is not dictating that any events be cancelled at this time, and that people should still feel free to go out to restaurants and shops downtown.

He is encouraging all residents and businesses to follow recommendation from public health experts, such as avoiding large gatherings in confined spaces and physical contact like handshakes

He also urged people to take proactive measures like frequent hand washing and disinfecting surfaces.

“I am personally not a person that acts out of fear of things,” Helfrich said. “In this case, the evidence is quite clear that this disease is coming, and we need to slow it down.”

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Regional & State News

Allentown schools close as Temple U. shifts to online class, amid concerns over the coronavirus