HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The Pennsylvania State Police is changing the way they will respond to non-emergency calls in an effort to practice social distancing and help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Starting on April 1 calls regarding lost and found items, littering, identity theft, and general requests to speak with a trooper will be conducted strictly over the phone.

“To enhance social distancing and keep our personnel and the public safe and healthy, we will begin collecting information via telephone for incidents that do not require an in-person response from a trooper,” said Colonel Evanchick, commissioner of the Pa. State Police. “This change affects only a limited number of call types, and the public can be confident that the PSP has the personnel, equipment, and plans in place to respond to emergencies and other critical incidents.”

Limiting in-person contact and collecting information over the phone is the goal, but the state police say the actual response will be based on the totality of the circumstances of each situation after consultation with the supervisor on duty.

The state police are also reminding people to be mindful of social distancing if they are to visit a station. Signs are posted at the entrance of each facility reminding visitors that if they are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus to not enter the station. They are encouraged to call the station and speak to a trooper, who could come outside to resolve the situation in person, if need be.

“Our facilities remain open as a public resource 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Colonel Evanchick. “Essential personnel remain ready to assist as needed during this unprecedented public health crisis, and we appreciate the public’s continued support.”