LAWRENCE CO., Pa. (WYTV) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that Lawrence County is among 17 counties moving toward the “green phase” of reopenings May 29.
It’s part of the state’s phased reopening plan, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the state’s plan, after a county’s risk for significant outbreaks is mitigated, it is monitored for 14 days before the transition to the green phase.
The green phase eases most restrictions by lifting the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.
Through the green phase, reduced capacity in buildings, working from home if you can, limiting visitation to high-risk environments and banning large gatherings will continue.
Wolf said although the counties are moving to green, people should still be practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Lawrence County Commissioner Dan Vogler said while he’s excited for people to get back to work, he asks members of the community to obey COVID-19 protocols.
“I still think you’ll see a good number of folks wearing masks. Some businesses may continue to make that a requirement.”
Out of more than 85,000 residents in Lawrence County, there have only been 73 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Mercer County remains in the yellow phase. Commissioner Matt McConnell said one reason for that might be because a facility in the county, which he wouldn’t name, had a spike in cases.
He said it was identified and addressed, calling the situation ridiculous.
“Very disappointing because all of our neighbors are open, which means our local taxpayers are not able to open some of their businesses and our population is just going to travel to those other counties.”
McConnell is upset the Shenango Valley Mall can’t reopen, but Walmart and Home Depot can be open.
He said the decision was only communicated to them, not discussed with them. He’s hoping Mercer County can go green within two weeks.