PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen are calling on non-essential businesses to close for at least two weeks beginning tomorrow.

The list included:

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  • Child care centers
  • Senior centers
  • Community and recreation centers
  • Gyms (including yoga studios, spin studios, barre facilities, and others)
  • Hair salons
  • Nail salons
  • Casinos
  • Bars
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters
  • Sporting event facilities
  • Golf clubs
  • Social clubs

“This is an unprecedented challenge that our community is facing,” Fitzgerald said. “This is an unprecedented time in our community. Our region has always been at its best when we work together, and this challenge is no exception. We need everyone to step up and play a part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our region. We understand that this may cause hardship for some, and frustration for others, but it’s imperative that we work together to do what’s best for our community.”

They are calling on these businesses to implement alternative work strategies so they can help stem the spread of coronavirus.

There is still much unknown about this virus and the illness it causes. But there are some things we know already,” said Dr. Bogen. “We know the virus is or will soon be spreading in virtually every community in the US and indeed in the world. Given the contagiousness of this virus, we know that it will not slow down on its own until it has infected most people in every community. The best hope we have for averting this catastrophic outcome is to take aggressive action to dramatically slow down the spread of the virus in our community.”

The goal of asking these businesses to close is to help further the cause of social distancing.

While restaurants and bars are included in the list, they are still encouraging them to remain open but only for delivery or carryout.

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They would like churches and other religious organizations to remain open for social services and the community but to refrain from social gatherings and services.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations are not part of this recommendation.

“We fully recognize the impact that these recommendations will have on our community, their livelihoods, their mental health, their day-to-day needs. We are working collaboratively to put the systems in place that can meet those challenges,” said Fitzgerald. “We will also be calling on those of you who are healthy and able to assist those of our community who are not. We hope to have additional announcements regarding those plans in the coming days.”

There are currently four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County.

However, with an increased capacity for testing, local health officials believe that several more cases could be identified.

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