May 29, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf Announces 16 More Counties Moving Into 'Green' Phase Next Week

Gov. Tom Wolf will lift most of his pandemic restrictions in another 16 counties that are home to nearly 3 million people across western and central Pennsylvania, including much of the Pittsburgh area.

The counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.  These 16 counties will move next Friday to the so-called “green” phase, the phase with the fewest restrictions in the governor’s stoplight-colored three-phase reopening plan. 

The announcement comes as the first round of counties are entering the green phase today. 

On June 5, the remaining counties in the phase with the most restrictions — the red phase — will move to yellow. 

 “We’ve had some great success here, things like wearing masks and the work of our hospital systems and our local officials,” Gov. Tom Wolf says.

Contact tracing has also been expanded, Gov. Wolf says, so every single new and diagnosed case can be investigated.

“It is important we continue to act with caution, especially as we reopen,” Gov. Wolf said. 

 “Let’s remember how quickly this virus spread back in March when it arrived because we were not taking precautions. We weren’t wearing masks back then, we weren’t exercising social distancing, we weren’t staying at home. We needed to buy time, and we did that. But before we bought time, before we were successful, we saw six weeks of exponential growth of this virus.” He says while “we can’t isolate ourselves forever,” there still aren’t enough tests and there is no vaccine “so we need to continue to be careful.” 

The governor encouraged people to continue to wear masks. “I don’t know why, but wearing masks have been politicized,” he say. 

“If all us take the simple steps of wearing a mask, staying home while we can — especially when we’re sick — and practicing social distancing tactics, we’re going all work together to succeed in eliminating the spread of COVID-19. It will make a huge contribution to getting our Commonwealth back on track.”

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