According to reports from Breitbart News, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has reopened over 12 rest areas in order to help truckers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reopened 13 of its 30 rest stops to help the truckers who are working tirelessly to move product across the nation, in order to keep supply chains open.
“They are located on Interstate 81, north and southbound stops in Luzerne and Cumberland counties; on Interstate 79, north and southbound stops in Crawford County and the northbound stop in Allegheny County; and on Interstate 80, east and westbound stops in Venango, Centre and Montour counties,” notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell confirmed there would be 5 portable toilets on the sites, however, most service plazas will remain closed.
Turnpike spokeswoman Rosanne Placey said, “We realize how vital [truckers’] service is so we’re happy we can reopen even on a limited basis,” said Placey. “Even with this change, the food service will be open on a limited basis. We can’t have a lot of people there and they can’t eat inside.”
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said in a statement on Tuesday, “We understand this decision was likely made in an effort to limit passenger vehicle movement, interaction among travelers, and the state’s administration and supervision of these facilities during an emergency declaration,”
“However, rest areas are vitally important to truckers, who at this time are being heavily relied upon to transport critical supplies across the country.”
“Pennsylvania is a major contributor to the nation’s economy and its location between the Northeast region and markets in the South and Midwest means countless truckers move across the state each day,” the statement continued.
“Many of these truckers rely on the state’s rest areas to do just that – rest!”
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As of Sunday, Pennsylvania’s total coronavirus case count stands at 479 and three deaths.
“Our notable increase in cases over the last few days indicate we need everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians have a very important job right now stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We have seen case counts continue to increase and the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.”
“If we have a moderate surge [in cases], then we are prepared,” Gov. Tom Wolf (D) added in reference to the state’s hospital resources. “If it is greater, then we aren’t prepared.”
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On Thursday, Wolf issued a shutdown order to tens of thousands of “non-life-sustaining” businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly illness.