HARRISBURG – State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) urged Governor Wolf this week to reconsider plans that would impede food delivery and supply operations, and to reopen highway rest stops.
Mastriano wrote a letter to the Wolf administration encouraging swift action in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the chief concerns that I share with you is ensuring nothing disrupts the flow of food and other necessary commodities,” wrote Mastriano, listing bakeries, food processors, snack companies, canneries and food providers as examples.
“Nothing should prevent them from providing vital food service to our state and nation,” added Mastriano, who called upon state Health and Agriculture officials to issue guidance on developing treatment plans for food safety, while having little disruption to supply. “Let’s work with our food companies and not against them.”
Additionally, Mastriano voiced concern regarding the mandated closures of highway rest stops. The state Department of Transportation backed off on plans to close all rest stops and is reopening 13 locations today for truck parking only.
“Your decision to close rest stops on our major highways was ill-advised and may have the indirect correlation of disrupting our food supplies by making our roadways unfriendly to truckers,” wrote Mastriano. “I ask for immediate reversal of this decision.”
“Having truck rest stops closed is also a public safety issue, with trucks now parking on the side of the highways, as well as forcing some truckers to drive beyond their required rest periods,” added Mastriano.
Mastriano also contacted President Donald Trump in reference to the federal Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a result of the coronavirus epidemic, Mastriano wrote a letter to Trump encouraging a temporary suspension of HIPAA components, in an effort to enhance transparency and augment public safety.
Mastriano is also introducing a Senate resolution to address the issue.
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