Commissioners Call for Businesses and Residents to do more to Limit Spread of COVID-19

Berks County Commissioners Leinbach, Barnhardt and Rivera spoke at Weaver’s Hardware in Lyon’s, PA about the COVID-19 crisis in Berks and what businesses and residents must do to limit the spread.

Also joining the commissioners were along with Dr. Sorenson from Tower Health/Reading Hospital, Dr. Held from Penn State/St. Joes, Berks County DA John Adams and Reading City Fire Marshall Jeremy Searfoss and City of Reading Chief of Police Tornielli.

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Berks County reported its 52nd COVID-19-related death on Wednesday, April 15th, as COVID-19 positive cases rose dramatically over the past seven days. Surge Models presented by Tower Health/Reading Hosp. and Penn State/St. Joes, show that if the current trend of new cases continues, Berks could see a major shortage of ICU and General Hospital beds in the coming weeks.

The location of Weaver’s Hardware was chosen because the owners, Edward and Christine Shenk, implemented effective Health and Safety measures about four weeks ago to protect both their employees and customers. “No Shoes, No Shirt, No MASK, No Service.”

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While hospital staff continue to exercise creative measures to keep their employees and patients safe, the commissioners say it’s up to the businesses and residents of Berks County to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 by following proper COVID-19 Health and Safety practices.

For the last four weeks, Edward and Christine Shenk, owners of Weaver’s Hardware, instituted best practices at all three stores including the installation of a handwashing station inside the entrance of the Fleetwood location.

Shenk continues to focus on the safety of his employees and customers, saying if we can take care of protecting our associates to the best of our ability, they will have the health and the energy to help customers fulfill their needs. As measures are being taken on the state level to reopen business across Pennsylvania, it’s critical for the public to recognize that truly mitigating the spread of COVID-19 here in our community begins with us.

The speakers encouraged other businesses to model their own practices after stores like
Weaver’s Hardware. District Attorney John Adams will be asking law enforcement across the county to respond to businesses not complying with proper safety protocols. This includes ensuring all customers entering stores wear proper masks and businesses enforcing social distancing as well as proper sanitization protocols.

Businesses practicing proper COVID-19 Health and Safety policies can request a Berks
County compliance poster to display within their store or they may download the posters at

Currently, Berks County holds one of the highest doubling rates within the state at 3.9
days as detailed in a modeling chart. The commissioners say it is up to us as Berks County residents to step up and do more by consistently following good public health hygiene practices.

“We have the ability to keep our family and neighbors safe. Hospitals like Tower Health/Reading Hosp. and Penn State St. Joes are addressing the projected shortage of bed space and we need to help them by doing all we can to reduce our COVID-19 numbers. Businesses and residents can act in limiting the spread of COVID-19 by following proper Health and Safety practices. It’s up to everyone to do their part over the next few weeks and beyond to help prevent the shortage of hospital beds here in Berks County.”

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