State officials: Rumor of local counties returning to red phase is ‘blatantly false’

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The PA Department of Health and Governor’s Office say an article circulating online about counties moving back to the red phase is “blatantly false.”

The article stirred up a lot of confusion over the weekend, suggesting Governor Tom Wolf is about to put several counties, including Dauphin, Lebanon, and York, back into the red phase and into “total lockdown.”

Abc27 reached out to Governor Wolf’s office. They said they have “no idea where this came from” and called it a “bad rumor.”

A link to the article was shared thousands of times on social media.

Nate Wardle with the PA Department of Health said, “It is blatantly false. If we have to use more restricting mitigation efforts than what are already in place they will be surgical and targeted to reduce the spread.”

Wardle sent a full statement below:

It is important that people get information from reputable news sources. In addition, it is wholly inappropriate for organizations to misgender individuals.

The department, at this time, has no plans to return counties to the red phase. Counties listed in the weekly early warning monitoring dashboard press release are those with percent positivity rates over five percent, where more monitoring from a state perspective is occurring.

Any mitigation efforts needed, beyond those in place since July 15, would be targeted and surgical to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. 

Nate Wardle, PA Department of Health

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