Governor Wolf: 12 more Pa. counties will transition to yellow

5 NEPA counties move out of the red phase on Friday May 22

May 15, 2020 - 2:31 pm
Pennsylvania County Map

State officials will allow 12 more counties, including some in  northeast Pennsylvania, to ease COVID 19 restrictions. Governor Tom Wolf has announced  that Carbon, Columbia, Susquehanna, Wyoming, and Wayne can enter the “yellow” phase of his tiered reopening plan on May 22.  They will join 37 other counties in north-central and western Pennsylvania where many businesses have been permitted to resume in-person operations and residents are allowed to freely leave their homes if they take precautions. From the Governor's Press Release:

Harrisburg, PA –  Governor Tom Wolf announced 12 additional Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22. Those counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York. Twenty-four counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening on May 8 and another 13 moved to yellow beginning today. 

With these additional 12 counties, there will be a total of 49 counties in the yellow phase. The remaining 18 counties are in the red phase. 

“Through our social distancing efforts, we have not only reversed a trajectory of exponential new case growth – we have cut it in half,” Gov. Wolf said. “And some of the counties that will be shifting into the yellow phase next week eliminated concerns that we had just two weeks ago. So please, keep up your efforts in the fight so we can continue to add counties to the list of those in the yellow phase. Thank you again for your patience and your hard work.” 

Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine amended their yellow phase orders to include 13 counties that moved to the yellow phase Friday May 15. Those counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Red phase stay-at-home orders remain in effect until June 4 but that does not mean that other counties will not move to the yellow phase in advance of that date.

The reopening plan prioritizes the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians by using a combination of factors to gauge how much movement a location can tolerate before the 2019 novel coronavirus becomes a threat, including metrics developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh that will be released twice each week.

Wolf stressed that this plan is not a one-way route. The state is closely monitoring the counties in the yellow phase and will re-impose restrictions if danger arises. If the new case count begins to climb in one area, restrictions will need to be imposed to prevent local medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed. So, Pennsylvanians should continue to make good choices.

From the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, this is the outline for counties moving to the yellow phase:

Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions

Telework Must Continue Where Feasible

Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders

Child Care Open Complying with Guidance

Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place

Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction

Social Restrictions

Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation

Large Gatherings of More Than 25 Prohibited

In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable

Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed

Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only

All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning

Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary

The green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay at home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health. While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.

MORE INFO available on the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania. 

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