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Everything You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Reopening

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced last week that the state is on track to start reopening after months of stay-at-home orders. As the area begins to take these steps, we’re making sure you have a convenient, up-to-date guide to the progress locally. Be sure to check back often for the most up-to-date information.

The Three Phase Plan 

Counties around the state are required to follow a three-phase color-coded plan to ease coronavirus-related restrictions. With the strictest of stay-at-home orders expiring, in the yellow phase, government officials will closely monitor regions for significant outbreaks over a period of 14 days. If the number of new cases remains low, the county will be permitted to move into the green phase.

What do the three color-coded phases mean?

Red Phase

  • Only life-sustaining businesses can remain open.
  • Restaurants and bars are limited to carry out and delivery only.
  • Stay-at-home orders are in place.

Yellow Phase

  • In-person retail is allowed with limited occupancy. Residents are encouraged to shop online or via curbside pickup.
  • Outdoor dining can resume with limited occupancy.
  • Personal care services, indoor recreation and entertainment facilities, such as salons, gyms and movie theaters, must remain closed.
  • Gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.

Green Phase

  • Retail businesses may increase occupancy.
  • Restaurants and bars can open for indoor service with limited occupancy.
  • Personal care services, indoor recreation and entertainment facilities may open with limited occupancy.
  • Gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited.

Read the entire state government’s guidelines here.

Where We Are

Beginning on June 26, after about three weeks in the yellow phase, Gov. Wolf will move most remaining Pennsylvania counties—including the heavily populated southeastern region, which were among the last to transition—into the green phase of reopening. Only Lebanon County remains yellow.

The state partnered with Carnegie Melon University to create metrics that examine both community health risk and economic benefit to best determine when each county should reopen. The government also takes factors like testing and contact tracing capabilities, plus the number of hospitalizations into consideration.

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to continue taking precautions like wearing masks and social distancing. “By participating in small actions recommended by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we can continue to break transmission links even while we resume our daily activities,” he notes.

In the coming weeks, the government will continue to monitor the virus and adjust restrictions where necessary.

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