HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Governor Wolf’s order for non-essential businesses to close took effect on Monday. Enforcement of that order began in the morning.
Downtown Hazleton, like many business districts in our region, looked like a ghost town on Monday. Most businesses were closed.
The dry cleaning company inside Metallo’s Formal Wear on West Broad Street is permitted to be open for business, but the front door is locked.
The owner spoke with Eyewitness News on the telephone. He’s not allowing anyone into his store out of an abundance of caution, in light of COVID-19 concerns.
“I just had a customer come in, knock on the door, I opened the door, he paid me, handed him his dry cleaning and he had no qualms about the way I’m doing it,” said Joe Scarcella, owner of Metallo’s Formal Wear and Dry Cleaners.
He runs the formal wear side of business online, but after customers of his dry cleaning pick up or drop off items, “Once I’m done I use hand sanitizer, to make sure I’m okay,” Scarcella said.
There has been some criticism about Governor Wolf’s order from some Latino-opened businesses. They argue that some of the information coming from Harrisburg, pertaining to the closures is tough to find, namely the English to Spanish translation. Amilcar Arroyo publishes the Spanish language newspaper El Menserejo.
Again, as with Scarcella, Arroyo wanted to speak by telephone to limit personal contact.
“Okay, we tried to inform the community in our own language that Monday at 8:01 AM it’s mandatory to close non-essential businesses. So far, most of the businesses are closed,” said Arroyo.
State Senator John Yudichak also spoke to Eyewitness News, he said COVID-19 concerns present some unique challenges.
A spokesperson for the PA Health Department told Eyewitness News that people can use a section on its website for English to Spanish translation.
Eyewitness News obtained Spanish language translations of some information from the governor’s office. Download them below.