All four counties in the 41st Senatorial District will step down their COVID-19 restrictions next Friday, a move that should have taken place today (May 8), according to Senator Joe Pittman.
Armstrong, Butler, Indiana and Westmoreland counties are among 13 counties, primarily in southwestern Pennsylvania, that will move to the “yellow” phase of COVID-19 reopening on May 15. The yellow phase is the middle of a red-yellow-green scale, with red meaning complete closure and green representing complete reopening of business and regular activities. All four local counties were excluded from the initial list of 24 counties authorized last week by the Governor to go to the yellow reopening phase today.
“Our four counties met the supposed criteria for yellow last week and we should be spending today adjusting to the new reality. Instead, we can only start to gear up now,” Senator Pittman said. “I sincerely hope the entire community will join together to wholeheartedly support our local businesses that have been devastated by this prolonged shutdown.”
The yellow phase of reopening will allow businesses with in-person operations to open under strict health guidelines and building safety orders to reduce the risk of infection. Telework must still continue where feasible.
Schools closures and restrictions on congregate care, prison visits and large gatherings of more than 25 people will remain in place. Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and entertainment venues will remain closed, and restaurants and bars will still be limited to carry-out and delivery only.
“It is a travesty that we did not move to yellow sooner and the damage has been done,” Senator Pittman said. “Now, the Governor needs to immediately provide specific criteria for ‘Green’ that is clear and consistent. There should be no more moving goal posts and throwing darts at a map as part of the process.”
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