In the wake of the coronavirus, the city Philadelphia officials recommend canceling or postponing any event with more than 50 people, in accordance with advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — to help prevent the virus from spreading.

On Mar. 19, Gov. Tom Wolf issued a mandatory shutdown order to all Pennsylvania businesses not considered “life-sustaining” in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The full list is here. These orders are in effect until further notice.

» READ MORE: Philly is closed. Here are some fun things you can still do.

But here’s a list of what is considered “essential” and allowed to remain open:

This list is from the City of Philadelphia.

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and mini markets

  • Restaurants and food vendors providing food through online, delivery, pickup or walk-in

  • Pharmacies

  • Hardware stores and stores supplying construction materials

  • Gas stations, auto repair shops, and bicycle stores

  • Banks

  • Post offices

  • Stores selling general merchandise and household consumer products

  • Laundromats and dry cleaners

  • Veterinary clinics and pet stores

  • Hotels

  • Home/Commercial building repairs

Also “essential” are any businesses that sell any of the following:

  • frozen products

  • computers

  • telecommunications equipment

  • audio and video electronics

  • household appliances

  • hardware

  • paint

  • flat glass

  • electrical

  • plumbing or heating material

  • fuel

  • sanitary equipment

  • personal hygiene products

  • over-the-counter medication

  • medical and orthopedic equipment

  • optics and photography equipment

  • soaps and detergents

Essential government services that will continue include:

  • public safety

  • health and human services

  • utilities

  • sanitation (including trash collection)

  • finance and payroll

Have a question about what’s open and what’s closed? Email us at

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