Friday, May 29, 2020

Gov. Wolf: 16 More Counties To Move To Green Phase Of Reopening On June 5

On May 29, Gov. Tom Wolf announced 16 additional counties will take another step forward and move to Green Phase effective 12:01 a.m., June 5. Counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.
Gov. Wolf made two other points during his live press conference--
-- His Administration is doing everything it can to avoid shutting down businesses, if there is a second round of COVID-19 in the Fall; and
-- Guidelines on reopening schools in the fall should be out next week.  He said he is confident schools will reopen, but they may look different with fewer students in classrooms and more online learning.
On May 29, the first 18 counties moved to Green, including Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.
Eight counties moved to Yellow May 29, including Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill.
Counties that remain in Red and are expected to move to yellow by June 5 include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
With more than half the state poised to be in the Green phase on June 5, the governor last week provided an updated order for counties moving to green to give businesses and residents a clearer picture of what is permitted in that phase of reopening. 
The order includes these highlights:
-- Large gatherings of more than 250 prohibited.
-- Restaurants and bars open at 50 percent occupancy.
-- Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50 percent occupancy and by appointment only.
-- Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services (such as gyms and spas) open at 50 percent occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged.
-- All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50 percent occupancy.
-- Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocols.
-- Visitation to prisons and hospitals may resume subject to the discretion of the facility. Visitors who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene. Given the critical importance of limiting COVID-19 exposure in nursing homes, personal care home and long-term care facilities, visitation restrictions will initially remain in place.
Business frequently asked questions were also updated and are available here.
Gov. Wolf also provided more options for counties in the Yellow phase by allowing outdoor dining beginning June 5 and providing Summer Camp Guidance for providers, parents and caregivers.
The Summer Camp Guidance includes information on what types of programs for children are permitted during the phased reopening, status of public playgrounds and the operation of community pools, and the status of organized team sports.
The state continues to use risk-based metrics from Carnegie Mellon University, combined with contact tracing and testing capability and a sustained reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations, to make decisions on county moves. 
The 50 new cases per 100,000 population continues to be a consideration, but not a sole deciding factor.
To see up-to-date data on case counts and demographics, hospital preparedness and testing, view the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.
As more counties and residents enjoy loosened restrictions, the governor stressed the need to balance resuming activities with keeping case counts low and taking personal responsibility by wearing a mask or choosing to stay away from crowds to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with someone carrying COVID-19.
“If we take the simple steps of wearing a mask, staying home when sick, and implementing social distancing tactics, we can help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 and make a huge contribution to getting our commonwealth back on track,” Gov. Wolf said. 
Visit the Commonwealth’s Responding to COVID-19 guide for the latest guidance and resources for Pennsylvanians or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19
Helpful Links:
Responding To COVID-19 In Pennsylvania - General Resource Page All Topics
Attorney General - Coronavirus Price Gouging Updates 
[Posted: May 29, 2020]

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