Changes to City Operations due to COVID-19

Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor’s Office

City of Pittsburgh Announces

Operational Changes Due to COVID-19

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 16, 2020) The City of Pittsburgh will continue to deliver essential City services to residents throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though starting today some services will be curtailed to protect employee and resident health..

Beginning at noon today non-emergency City offices and facilities will be closed to the public until further notice, though operations will continue through teleworking by eligible employees.

“We will provide continuous operations throughout this crisis. City government never shuts down and public services will be offered continuously throughout this pandemic,” Mayor William Peduto said.

The following services and offices will remain operational:

  • All emergency services including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and (for life safety matters only) Animal Care and Control.
  • Inspections of buildings, roads, traffic lights and other infrastructure
  • Response to weather events
  • Refuse and recycling collection (see note below)
  • City parks (though residents are urged to stay off playground equipment, as their cleanliness cannot be guaranteed)
  • Pittsburgh City Council meetings (subject to health safety restrictions)
  • City Planning, Permits, Licenses and Inspections, and the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will continue to review plans, issue permits, and intake applications. PLI and City Planning permits are available online; the application can be found here or you can send the full application and payment via US mail. Licensing late fees will be forgiven. Utilities needing public right of way permits can continue to apply online utilizing the established Google form. All other permit requests should be submitted by email to and further instructions will be provided
  • 311: Operators will still be taking calls; however, some issues may not be addressed immediately as crews may be limited or helping to handle pandemic-related issues.
  • Office of Municipal Investigations intake
  • Commission on Human Relations complaint intake
  • All Finance and Office of Management and Budget functions essential to continue core city operations and payroll.
  • Questions about the City’s Paid Sick Leave law will still be collected and answered at the Sick Leave website

The following facilities and operations will be closed until further notice:

  • City Department offices in the City-County Building and the Robin Civic Building (200 Ross Street)
  • Senior Healthy Active Living Centers (see note below)
  • Recreation Centers (see note below)
  • City park shelters and fields (refunds will be issued to those who made reservations by emailing
  • All water fountains and restrooms in parks will be shut-off, though portable toilets will remain in service
  • All in-person permit counters
  • Special Event permits issuance
  • City participation in community meetings
  • All programming from Parks & Recreation
  • Mellon Park Tennis Bubble
  • Oliver Bath House
  • In-person tax assistance
  • Treasurer Sales (including already scheduled April 17 sale)

All City of Pittsburgh employees will continue to be paid, and their work schedules will be overseen by their department supervisors.

Note on refuse: While curbside trash and recycling will still be collected, if the waste is not picked up on your normal collection day please leave it at the curb and do not call 311. It will be picked up later.

Please help protect the front line workers who are protecting you from spreading diseases by:

Note on Senior and Recreation centers: Grab-and-go meals may be distributed from a small network of these centers in coming days, but those services have not yet been finalized. Further announcements will be made regarding food access when plans are ready.

Note on those experiencing homelessness: In the interest of preventing needless harm to our neighbors living outside, the city is working with our longtime homeless services partner, Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net (OSN), to coordinate all camp engagements. During this time of increased vulnerability for those who are homeless, camps should not be entered by anyone except those determined to be providing life-sustaining care. Please call OSN at 412-232-5739, ext. 4 or text street outreach team lead Dan Palka at 412-589-2894 with any inquiries regarding collaboration or support. We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to people’s wellbeing.

Allegheny County released a helpful guide to their services during this time, including mental health and human services.

More announcements on City response to COVID-19 will be released as necessary.

Mayor William Peduto Declares State of Emergency Due to COVID-19

Quote from Mayor Peduto: Today, I am declaring a State of Emergency and Signing an Executive Order prohibiting all public gatherings of more that 250 people, effective 9 A M Monday, March 16th.

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 13, 2020) Mayor William Peduto today declared a State of Emergency in the City of Pittsburgh and signed an Executive Order prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 250 people, effective 9 a.m. Monday.

“As the coronavirus has spread throughout the world, we have learned one great lesson: that by taking decisive action early on, we can slow the spread of the disease and save untold numbers of lives,” Mayor Peduto said. “I am making this announcement now so our residents can further plan for the impacts COVID-19 will have on them and their families, most likely for weeks to come.”

The announcement comes as Pittsburgh Public Schools – and all K-12 schools statewide – have been ordered closed by Governor Wolf beginning Monday, March 16.

The City is working with nonprofit partners and the Pittsburgh Public Schools to provide food options for city schoolchildren while the schools are closed.

The State of Emergency allows the Mayor to adopt precautionary measures to mitigate expected effects of public health disasters. Those measures may include:

  • Cancelling or limiting large gatherings
  • Cancelling or limiting events or gatherings that require City permits
  • Encouraging the use of social distancing to lessen exposure and transmission of disease
  • Cancelling or limiting some City services
  • Cancelling or limiting public and private activities that could increase exposure or transmission of disease

The Executive Order separately prohibits all gatherings of more than 250 people in the City, starting at 9 a.m. March 16.

The State of Emergency will be for an initial term of seven days and be subject to ratification and renewals by Pittsburgh City Council.

The City is also working with UPMC, Allegheny Health Network on expanded testing capacity, hospital needs and support for Public Safety personnel.

Today’s action follows other steps the City and its partners have lately made to protect and support residents and businesses due to COVID-19. They include:

  • The City banned all City government-affiliated meetings of more than 50 people, and business-related travel by City employees
  • The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority extended its shut-off moratorium until May 31 and waived income qualification criteria. Pennsylvania American Water has also ceased shut-offs
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh extended assistance to Pittsburgh small businesses
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh suspended all evictions except for those with serious public safety implications
  • Columbia Gas, Duquesne Light and Peoples Gas have suspended service shut-offs until at least May 1

As Public Safety has noted, it will be strictly enforcing all occupancy permits this weekend.

The Executive Order will suspend all court cases by Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections PLI, Mobility and Infrastructure, and Public Works except for life-safety circumstances.

Beginning Monday, all City of Pittsburgh employees with school-age children will be allowed to tele-work if possible. Those who cannot tele-work may bring their children to the office.

The City continues to advise residents to wash hands, clean regularly used surfaces, and not to go to work or other public spaces if sick.

A copy of the Emergency Order is here and the Executive Order here.

Graphic listing the steps taken by City Authorities and Utilities