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The coronavirus on Smart Talk Tuesday: State Police duties look different during pandemic and are Pennsylvanians responding to the Census?

A sign with corrected spelling, tells visitors the playground at the Community Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Zelienople, Pa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A sign with corrected spelling, tells visitors the playground at the Community Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Zelienople, Pa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Governor Wolf’s mandatory stayathome order went into effect on Wednesday for all 67 Pennsylvania counties. 

The order states that individuals may leave their residence only to perform certain individual activities and essential travel. But many Pennsylvanians still have questions about certain details.  

Is it allowable to take a drive just to get out of the house? What about going for a hike, particularly if it means you must drive to the trailhead or to a park? 

No one enjoys being cooped up at home, so is there any flexibility in the stay-at-home order?  

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania State police have “refined” response guidelines for calls such as identity theft, littering and lost and found items to limit in-person contact and maintain social distancing.

Appearing on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to offer expertise on these questions is Pennsylvania State Police Major Christopher Paris, acting Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Professional Responsibility.   

Also, the build-up to the national Census has been underway for more than a year. Invitations to complete the Census were mailed to homes across the country in mid-March. National Census Day was April 1st; an important benchmark date in the national population count.  

The date came and went in the shadow of the nation’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic. Was anyone paying attention?  

Joining us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss the next step in the process is Norman Bristol Colon, executive director, Governor’s Census 2020 Complete Count Commission 

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