(HARRISBURG) – Counties in northwest and northcentral Pennsylvania will move to the yellow phase of COVID-19 reopening on May 8, while all other counties in the state will remain under Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order, according to Senator Ryan P. Aument (R-36).
The yellow phase of reopening will allow some businesses with in-person operations to open under strict health guidelines and building safety orders to reduce the risk of infection. Telework must still continue where feasible. Schools closures and restrictions on congregate care, prison visitation, and large gatherings of more than 25 people will remain in place. Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and entertainment venues will remain closed, and restaurants and bars will still be limited to carry-out and delivery only.
Counties moving to the yellow phase include: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
All other counties in Pennsylvania will remain under Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order. Only businesses deemed life-sustaining by the Wolf Administration are permitted to operate in those areas of the state.
Senator Aument expressed deep frustrations that no restrictions have been lifted for local employers and workers who can safely operate in counties that are still in the red phase.
“We were told by Governor Wolf and his Administration at the beginning of his shutdown order that the purpose of these severe actions was to flatten the curve and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by cases. But now that significant progress towards both of those goals has been made, it seems that the Administration’s focus has shifted to a new goal –preventing all Pennsylvanians from getting sick. While I am certainly concerned about the public health impacts of reopening, it is clear that there are businesses in Lancaster County right now that could be open and operating in accordance with health and safety guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect their patrons and employees appropriately. It is unfair and unacceptable that the Governor continues to enforce such strict orders on Pennsylvanians, despite the fact that his own Health Department has said that the original goals of such orders have been achieved.”
The Senate approved legislation in April that would have allowed certain businesses in the state to reopen if they followed guidance from state and federal health experts to properly protect the health of customers and employees. Governor Wolf vetoed that legislation, adding another layer of uncertainty for employees and employers throughout the state.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Local Government Committee will hold a joint hearing on Monday beginning at 10 a.m. to allow lawmakers to directly question members of the Wolf Administration about the reopening plan. The hearing will be streamed live at PASenateGOP.com.
VIDEO: 4/16/20 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update in which Secretary Levine says “Our trends show that Pennsylvanians’ sacrifice to stay at home is working. We have been able to flatten that curve, and to date, our health care system is staying stable, and we have not had a wave of cases that have overwhelmed our health care system.” (3:25-3:45)
CONTACT: Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420