Mayor William Peduto Declares State of Emergency Due to COVID-19

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 13, 2020) Mayor William Peduto today declared a State of Emergency in the City of Pittsburgh and signed an Executive Order prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 250 people, effective 9 a.m. Monday. 

“As the coronavirus has spread throughout the world, we have learned one great lesson: that by taking decisive action early on, we can slow the spread of the disease and save untold numbers of lives,” Mayor Peduto said. “I am making this announcement now so our residents can further plan for the impacts COVID-19 will have on them and their families, most likely for weeks to come.” 

The announcement comes as Pittsburgh Public Schools – and all K-12 schools statewide – have been ordered closed by Governor Wolf beginning Monday, March 16.  

The City is working with nonprofit partners and the Pittsburgh Public Schools to provide food options for city schoolchildren while the schools are closed.

The State of Emergency allows the Mayor to adopt precautionary measures to mitigate expected effects of public health disasters. Those measures may include: 

  • Cancelling or limiting large gatherings 
  • Cancelling or limiting events or gatherings that require City permits 
  • Encouraging the use of social distancing to lessen exposure and transmission of disease 
  • Cancelling or limiting some City services 
  • Cancelling or limiting public and private activities that could increase exposure or transmission of disease 

The Executive Order separately prohibits all gatherings of more than 250 people in the City, starting at 9 a.m. March 16.  

The State of Emergency will be for an initial term of seven days and be subject to ratification and renewals by Pittsburgh City Council. 

The City is also working with UPMC, Allegheny Health Network on expanded testing capacity, hospital needs and support for Public Safety personnel. 

Today’s action follows other steps the City and its partners have lately made to protect and support residents and businesses due to COVID-19. They include:  

  • The City banned all City government-affiliated meetings of more than 50 people, and business-related travel by City employees 
  • The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority extended its shut-off moratorium until May 31 and waived income qualification criteria. Pennsylvania American Water has also ceased shut-offs 
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh extended assistance to Pittsburgh small businesses 
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh suspended all evictions except for those with serious public safety implications 
  • Columbia Gas, Duquesne Light and Peoples Gas have suspended service shut-offs until at least May 1  

As Public Safety has noted, it will be strictly enforcing all occupancy permits this weekend. 

The Executive Order will suspend all court cases by Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections PLI, Mobility and Infrastructure, and Public Works except for life-safety circumstances. 

Beginning Monday, all City of Pittsburgh employees with school-age children will be allowed to tele-work if possible. Those who cannot tele-work may bring their children to the office. 

The City continues to advise residents to wash hands, clean regularly used surfaces, and not to go to work or other public spaces if sick. 

A copy of the Emergency Order is here and the Executive Order here.




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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office