Updated 9:30 p.m, Friday
Twelve more Pennsylvania counties will move to the green phase of COVID-19 mitigation on June 26, Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday morning.
The following counties will move to green then: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna.
Philadelphia met the criteria to move to green on June 26, but local officials will continue to maintain additional restrictions until July 3.
“When these 12 counties move on June 26, we will have nearly every county in green,” Wolf said. “It’s a testament to the many residents and businesses that have sacrificed over the past three months to stay home and adhere to the guidance the state has provided to protect lives and livelihoods. As we begin to reopen, I urge everyone to stay alert and continue to follow social distancing to maintain the momentum of mitigation we have in place,” said Wolf in a release.
As counties reopen, Pennsylvania continues to see a steady decline in cases, a positive indicator that its phased, measured reopening plan is working to balance public health with economic recovery.
The CDC’s analysis of propriety state case data puts Pennsylvania among only three states with a 42-day steady decline in cases. The other two states are Hawaii and Montana, officials said earlier this week.
To date more than 80,000 Pennsylvanians have contracted coronavirus with the state’s death toll a little more than 6350.
Here in Bucks County confirmed case counts continued their downward trend with officials reporting 19 new cases on Thursday; a weekly average hoovering around 21 new cases recorded daily.
“We’re very excited for all businesses to finally open next Friday, it’s been a long road for many of them,” County Health Director Dr David Damsker said. “Our citizens have done a terrific job being mindful of the precautions needed to keep community spread of COVID low, and we need them to continue doing so in the green phase.”
A total of 5,187 Bucks County residents have now tested positive for coronavirus, more than half of whom – 2,752 people – have now been confirmed to have recovered. A total of 499 deaths have been attributed to COVID, 401 of them residents of long-term care facilities, according to county data.
Now that Bucks is going green zone next Friday what will change? What won’t?
Restaurants can open their dining rooms with limited capacity. Hair stylists, barbershops, gyms, casinos, shopping malls, and theaters can open to 50 % capacity.
The Process to Reopen Pennsylvania document spells out the specifics of green phase mitigation.
Large gatherings of 250 or more are prohibited and masks will continue to be required when entering businesses.
Frequently asked questions about business guidance under pandemic curve flattening efforts can be found here