The first emergency disaster proclamation was signed on March 6 of 2020.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf signed a fourth renewal of the COVID-19 disaster declaration Friday.

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“COVID-19 vaccinations have begun, but we are still in the early stages of vaccine administration,” said Governor Wolf in a press release.

“We will continue to prioritize a safe, efficient and equitable distribution process, and expect vaccinations to increase as the federal government makes more vaccine available to states. This renewal will allow the commonwealth to maintain its response and support efforts as we continue testing, contact tracing and vaccination efforts to keep Pennsylvanians safe.”

READ MORE: Constitutional Amendment Could Limit A Governor’s Emergency Powers During Pandemic

According to the governor’s office, the disaster declaration allows for increased support to state agencies, including expediting supply procurement and lifting certain regulations.

Through the disaster declaration, PEMA can assign the National Guard to nursing homes, the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment compensation is waived and certification and licensure renewals for healthcare workers are suspended.

It’s in effect for 90 days unless rescinded or extended by the governor.

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A Republican-backed constitutional amendment limiting governors’ powers during a disaster emergency will be on the May ballot.