Twenty-four Pennsylvania counties have moved into the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus reopening plan as of 12:01 a.m., and he is expected to announce which counties will get to go next later Friday.
Wolf and Health Department Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine extended a statewide stay at home order on June 4. It, of course, doesn’t apply to any of the now yellow-phase counties, just everyone else who remains in the red phase.
Guidance for business reopenings in the yellow phase was also released Thursday night. Here’s what we know.
Which counties are now in the yellow phase?
Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
Which counties will go next, and when?
There is no clear answer, but Wolf will reveal those details sometime today. It’s expected that counties in the southcentral and south-west part of the state will make the cut, but how many is unclear.
In the yellow phase, what can reopen?
According to Wolf’s order:
“In counties that have been designated as in the Yellow Phase, all businesses, except those categories specifically excluded in the Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania Plan and the Governor’s and Secretary of Health’s orders, are permitted to conduct in-person operations, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public.”
What, exactly, does that mean?
In short, most previously-designated non-life sustaining businesses can reopen, save for the ones outlined below. Any business that does open must follow strict guidelines, including but not limited to face coverings for entry and the ability to practice social distancing.
Operations that can be conducted via telework should continue to do so, but things like pet groomers, child care centers, in-person retail, and manufacturers are cleared to operate again in counties moved to the yellow designation. Restaurants and bars can still only offer takeout, curbside, or delivery orders, however.
Also of note: Gatherings of 25 people or less are allowed.
Previously, construction was allowed to resume in Pa., and so were real estate transactions and vehicle sales.
In the yellow phase, what cannot reopen?
Again, per Wolf, the list includes:
“Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and personal care services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and massage therapy providers), and all entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) and such businesses remain closed.”
What is in the gray area?
A previous version of this article said that real estate transactions could begin again in the yellow phase of the reopening plan, but its now unclear if that case or not.
Where can I find a list of non-life sustaining and life-sustaining businesses
The embed below (if you can’t see it, click here) is the list of life- and non-life sustaining businesses as decided by the Wolf administration as of April 28. Many of the ones marked in the document as not being able to continue physical operations will be able to under the yellow-phase order, but the document had not been updated as of 10 p.m. Thursday night.