LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — All Pennsylvania counties are in the green phase of Governor Wolf’s reopening plan, except for one.
Lancaster County turned green at midnight leaving Lebanon as the only county in the state that’s not green.
Officials in both Lebanon and Lancaster counties pushed to reopen before the governor gave the okay. In the decision to keep Lebanon yellow, Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine blamed the partisan and political decision by the county’s elected leaders to open the county prematurely for a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Now many feel they’re paying the price, like at Babe’s Grill House. David Deimler owns the grill house along with his wife Kylie. He says he feels bullied by the governor after hearing the news that Lebanon County wouldn’t go green with the rest of the commonwealth.
He believes it’s because local politicians went against his orders. Deimler says at his restaurant, they’ve gone above and beyond with employee temperature checks, masks, and gloves, and sanitizing.
“We want to continue to do our part to keep people safe and healthy, but we also don’t want to be bullied and feel like we’re being picked on because of the Lebanon politicians.”
Deimler says his customers are going across the border to Hershey and other areas open for dine-in.
The county is missing only one of the state’s metrics for going green and that’s the number of COVID-19 cases the last two weeks compared to the 2 weeks before.
By how much?
Between May 23 and June 5 the county had 110 new cases. Two weeks later — they nearly doubled to 211.
For comparison Lancaster County saw a drop in 43 cases over that same time period.
“We’ve also seen plenty of other examples of where the Department of Health data is absolutely, positively wrong. We question that data,” Rep. Russ Diamond (R) said.
Staying in the yellow phase means no indoor dining, gyms, or hair salons.