HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that 24 counties in rural northern Pennsylvania will see some relief from his strictest orders for residents to stay at home and businesses to close as part of a strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
All of the counties that are moving from “red” to “yellow” in Wolf’s color-coded reopening plan are in the northwest and north-central regions of Pennsylvania, which have seen far fewer virus infections and deaths than most of the rest of the state
The changes are to take effect next Friday, May 8, and impact about 1.5 million of Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million residents. Stay-at-home orders will be lifted and retail shops can start to reopen, though gyms, barber shops, nail salons, casinos, theaters and other such venues will remain closed and other restrictions will remain in place.The counties where pandemic restrictions will be eased are: 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.The only county in that group to be left off the list was Columbia, which is still struggling with a relatively high number of infections.“Over the past two months, Pennsylvanians in every corner of our commonwealth have acted collectively to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Wolf said in a written statement. “We have seen our new case numbers stabilize statewide and while we still have areas where outbreaks are occurring, we also have many areas that have few or no new cases.”