Governor Tom Wolff announced he anticipates Bucks County will enter the yellow phase of reopening with nine other counties on June 5 at a Friday press conference. Seventeen counties were moved from yellow to green Wolf also announced.
“We know not only that we succeeded in slowing case growth, but that our actions, our collective decisions to stay at home and avoid social contact – we know that saved lives,” Gov. Wolf said. “My stay-at-home order did exactly what it was intended to do: It saved lives and it bought us valuable time.”
Counties moving to yellow on May 29 include Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill.
” In deciding which counties to move to yellow, the state used risk-based metrics from Carnegie Mellon University combined with contact tracing and testing capability and a sustained reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations. While the 50 new cases per 100,000 population was considered, it did not weigh any more heavily than other factors.”
Counties that remain in red on May 29 and are expected to move to yellow by June 5 include Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.
Over the past two weeks:
- The state has seen sustained reductions in hospitalizations. From May 8 when the first counties moved to yellow to yesterday, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized dropped by nearly one thousand – from 2,618 to 1,667.
- The number of COVID patients on ventilators shrank by about a third, from 505 to 347.
- New cases continue to decline: From May 8 to May 15, the state added 6,384 cases and from May 15 to 21, added 4,770.
- The current COVID-19 incidence rate in the state is 83.4 cases per 100,000 people. Two weeks ago, it was 113.6 per 100,000. Most other states are seeing their new case rate continue to increase or remain flat. Pennsylvania is one of just 19 states with new case-rate declines.
“We continue to increase testing every day and are continuing to build our contact tracing capacity, as well,” Gov. Wolf said.
The Bucks County Commissioners in a statement released on social media said they “remind all citizens that we remain under a red, stay-at-home order until June 5, at which time many more businesses will be allowed to reopen with certain restrictions. They urge residents to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing as we move into yellow, so that Bucks County can move forward into the “green” phase soon” .
Bucks County officials on Thursday said they were hoping for good news Friday as they have tried to make the public case to reopen the county.
On Thursday Bucks County Officials reported 51 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths. A total of 126 patients are hospitalized, 23 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.
Since the pandemic began, Bucks has had 4,536 residents infected with COVID-19, 411 of whom have died and 1,366 of whom are confirmed to have recovered, according to county data.
Moving to the second phase of the Governors Reopening Plans means businesses will able to do the following:
|Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions|
Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com. An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here
“I want to remember and honor all of those who we lost and give solace to their family and loved ones. The last two months have been trying and they have tested each of us, and I want to thank and acknowledge all the people of our commonwealth who have been called upon to upend their lives to keep their neighbors, friends and family safe,” Wolf said