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SEPTA Changes for April 1; Stay-At-Home Extended, All PA Counties; PA State Trooper Response Change
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/01/20 4:43 pm | updated: 04/01/20 4:43 pm
SEPTA has instituted new changes to increase safety for drivers and riders during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Riders will now board buses and trolleys from the back door. Riders with diabilities can still use the front door. Onboard fare collection has been suspended. Protective shields have already been added to all buses for the drivers. Shields are in the process of being added for operators of trolleys and the Norristown High Speed Line R100. There are now limits to the number of passengers allowed on at a time. Buses can now carry a maximum of 20, trolleys can carry 25, and the R100 can carry 30.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf extended the 'stay-at-home' orders to all counties in the state. He added 34 counties to existing orders so now all 67 counties are included. The expanded order goes into effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, and lasts until April 30. Residents can leave their homes to go to work at essential businesses, go to the grocery store or pharmacy, visit the doctor, care for a family member, or exercise. The statewide coronavirus totals were updated to 5,805 positive cases and 74 deaths. Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. "We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must."

The Pennsylvania State Police announced that they will now longer be responding to certain types of calls to try and limit troopers' contact with the public. "With the goal of limiting in-person contact and mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the department has identified certain types of calls that may be resolved with limited or no on-scene response. The change went into effect April 1, 2020 and will remain until further notice," the State Police said. Those calls include lost and found items, littering, identity theft, and general requests to speak to a trooper. Troopers will still respond to emergencies. "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 Col. Robert Evanchick, the state police commissioner. "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."

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