Governor Tom Wolf provided guidance for businesses in 24 counties designated to reopen this Friday as they move to yellow phase.
The counties designated to reopen are moving from the red phase to yellow this week and will have to follow a set of specific rules according to the Wolf administration while the cornoavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc at all levels of society in the state.
For the reopening plan, life-sustaining businesses that could not conduct either all or part of their operations via telework will continue to conduct their operations in-person, and many non-life sustaining businesses will be permitted to restart their in-person operations through the loosening of some restrictions under the stay-at-home and business closure orders, officials said.
The 24 counties approved to move ahead to the yellow reopening phase are: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clairon, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawerence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
No timetable has been set for counties in the Philadelphia region to reopen to date, however, The Bucks County Commissioners sent a letter to the Wolf administration on Monday urging for a change in the metrics used, specifically COVID-19 infection rate in determining when a county can reopen.
“Businesses in the 24 counties that may reopen beginning May 8 must take precautions to protect their employees, their employees’ families, and their communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “First and foremost, businesses that have been operating using telework must continue to do so to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 until the stay-at-home and business closure orders are fully lifted when we enter a “green” phase.”
Wolf has said 50 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 persons over a 14-day time span is the goal he seeks in order to move a given county from the red phase of his reopening plan to yellow and onward.
For Bucks County this computes to an average of 23 new cases daily which has not been seen since the first days of pandemic in the area.
County officials reported 85 new cases on Tuesday.
The counties set to reopen Friday have a minimum number of infections reported to date and have small populations.
For the full listing of rules click here