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Gov. Wolf announces coronavirus reopening plan

GOV. WOLF IMAGE.jpg
Two areas of Pennsylvania - northcentral and northwestern - are expected to be the first areas in the state to be released from the stay-at-home order, Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy: Pennsylvania Governor's Office)

PITTSBURGH -- Two areas of the state were highlighted Wednesday night in Governor Tom Wolf's announcement of the process to ease coronavirus pandemic restrictions and reopen Pennsylvania.

The northcentral and northwestern parts of the state are expected to be the first areas to be released from the stay-at-home order.

According to the statewide reopening plan, retail stores in those areas should be able to reopen by May 8.

Wolf said the easing of the restrictions will begin in areas that have been lightly impacted.

The framework includes a target of fewer than 50 positive cases of the virus per 100,000 residents for 14 days for a county or region to begin easing restrictions.

The full Process to Reopen Pennsylvania plan can be found online.

According to the announcement, the easing of restrictions in certain regions include a “Red Phase,” a “Yellow Phase” and a “Green Phase.”

Wolf said the entire state is currently in the "Red Phase," which includes enforcing social distancing and other safety protocols combined with the closures of schools and non-life sustaining businesses.

This is the breakdown of the three phases, according to the Wolf administration announcement Wednesday night:

Red Phase

  • Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
  • Life Sustaining Businesses Only
  • Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place
  • Schools (for in-person instruction) and Most Child Care Facilities Closed
  • Social Restrictions
  • Stay at Home Orders in Place
  • Large Gatherings Prohibited
  • Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only
  • Only Travel for Life-Sustaining Purposes Encouraged
  • Reiterate and reinforce safety guidance for businesses, workers, individuals, facilities, update if necessary
  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary


As regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place. For example, retail locations will be able to open with forthcoming guidance in place that is substantially similar to the worker safety and building safety order. Otherwise retail will be able to allow for curbside pickup. The purpose of this phase is to begin to power back up the economy while keeping a close eye on the public health data to ensure the spread of disease remains contained to the greatest extent possible.

Yellow Phase

  • Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
  • Telework Must Continue Where Feasible
  • Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders
  • Child Care Open with Worker and Building Safety Orders
  • Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place
  • Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction
  • Social Restrictions
  • Stay at Home Restrictions Lifted in Favor of Aggressive Mitigation
  • Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited
  • In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
  • Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities (such as gyms, spas), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
  • Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only
  • All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning
  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary


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. While this phase will facilitate a return to a “new normal,” it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.

Green Phase

  • Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
  • All Businesses Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines
  • Social Restrictions
  • Aggressive Mitigation Orders Lifted
  • All Individuals Must Follow CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines
  • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary

For the latest news and information related to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, stay up-to-date with the Pennsylvania Department of Health online.

Watch the latest national news updates on WPGH53.com.


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