Changes in the Community

In the coming week’s stores and activities across Pennsylvania will start to open their doors. One thing to remember is that things will be different when we go back into the community. There will be rules in place that we will need to follow. This resource provides an overview of some things that may be different.

Multicolored autism awareness ribbon.


It is likely that we will still have to follow rules about social distancing. This includes things like: keeping at least 6 feet away from other people, not being able to have large groups of people together in one place, and limiting how many people can be in a store. You may also see stores guide or limit the movement of customers to promote social distancing. For example, some grocery stores have arrows on the floor showing which direction to go down aisles.


Not all stores and activities will open at the same time. Some parts of the state may be allowed to do more things than others. Even when we can go back into the community, there may be activities you cannot do and places you cannot go.


Doctors have learned that wearing a mask can lower the chance of spreading COVID-19. Because of this people may need to wear masks even after the stay at home orders are lifted. Right now we don’t know what those rules might be. You should listen to updates from the governor and the PA Department of Health for more information about the rules around wearing a mask. Your family, trusted friends, or support staff can also help you learn and understand the rules.


You may have trouble finding items in stores even after the stay at home order has been lifted. Some stores may limit how much of an item you can buy to make sure that these items are available for everyone. Items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and paper towels can still be hard to find. You can check with family, trusted friends, or support staff if you’re having a hard time finding things.

Rate this resource

Thank you for rating this resource!

Download entire resource (pdf)

This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.