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Mayor Bill Peduto Declares State Of Emergency In Pittsburgh

Ariel Worthy
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announces the city is under a state of emergency at a news conference on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has declared a state of emergency in the city effective Monday, March 16 at 9 a.m. The declaration prohibits gatherings of more than 250 people.

“I know that declarations like this can cause a shock and a panic," Peduto said a press conference on Friday evening. "I want residents of Pittsburgh to be able to plan, especially as many with school-aged children are looking at childcare needs going into Monday." 

Earlier Friday, Pittsburgh Public Schools, along with all school districts, were ordered to close for two weeks Monday, per an announcement by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.  The city state of emergency will be in effect for at least seven days. 

City employees will be allowed to tele-work or bring children to the office. Peduto said anyone who brings their children to work with them will have the option to send them to childcare, located at the City-County building. 

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich added that on Monday the city will expand their Telephone Reporting Unit. 

"These will include calls that can be handled over the phone," Hissrich said. "Request for police reports, any advice that would not require the police officer to respond to the scene. However police will respond to complaints or any types of violence calls." 

Hissrich added that police, fire and EMS will receive additional training for handling infectious control. 

Credit City of Pittsburgh
City of Pittsburgh

Peduto Chief of Staff Dan Gilman said city employees will be evaluated for their essential and non-essential status and tele-work capabilities.