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Municipal leaders, first responders, and community organizations are monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Shippensburg area.

The Shippensburg Area Emergency Task Force meets regularly and receives daily updates on the spread of the virus. The task force evaluates the pandemic’s effects on residents and businesses.

The task force encompasses the municipalities within the Shippensburg Area School District. It includes Shippensburg Borough, Shippensburg Township, Southampton Township-Cumberland County, Southampton Township-Franklin County, Orrstown Borough, Newburg Borough and Hopewell Township.

Along with borough and township officials, representatives from Shippensburg’s police, fire and EMS departments, the school district and Shippensburg University are assisting in the task force’s work.

The group also is working with King’s Kettle, the community food pantry, to help address residents’ needs.

“Trying to ensure that our residents do not suffer from food shortages is one of our main priorities,” Shippensburg Mayor Kathy Coy said of the task force. “We are grateful for the efforts that King’s Kettle, the school district, local churches and a number of restaurants are giving at this time to provide meals to those in need.”

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The borough declared a local disaster emergency on March 17, giving its emergency management coordinator the authority to direct emergency responses and take actions to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.

Business Closure Enforcement

The task force is urging employers to comply with the state mandate that closes the physical locations of all non-life-sustaining businesses until further notice. Mandate enforcement starts at 8 a.m. Monday.

“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday in announcing the order. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And, we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”

The task force is seeking additional information on resources available to assist residents. “We are asking any group or business that has a service to offer, or anyone who knows of an unmet need in our community, to reach out to the task force with that information,” said Shippensburg Borough Emergency Management Coordinator David Lindenmuth.

Email information to [email protected]. The email account is monitored regularly, but not 24 hours a day. It is only for information notices, not emergency notifications.

Call 911 to report medical emergencies or other types of life-endangering situations.

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