Palmyra restaurant owner unhappy Lebanon County is staying in yellow phase


PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) — One restaurant owner in Palmyra feels caught in the middle of a political argument.

About a month ago, Lebanon County commissioners voted 2-1 to move the county into the yellow phase before Gov. Tom Wolf said they could. Now many feel like they’re paying the price, including at Babe’s Grill House.

On what would have been a busy Father’s Day, owner David Deimler could only seat people outside on the patio.

He wasn’t happy to hear the news Friday that Lebanon County is the only county in the commonwealth not going green June 26.

“Just to single one little county out for whatever politics he’s dealing with, with the Lebanon politicians, shouldn’t include small businesses and small families,” Deimler said.

In a statement, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine explained that Lebanon County’s “partisan, politically driven decision” caused their case numbers to increase, making it still unsafe to reopen.

“We’ve done our part. We will continue to do our part, above and beyond with masks and gloves, past the time he says to wear masks and gloves because we believe in keeping people healthy,” Deimler said.

One of his customers, Brad Shyda, also owns a small business, Shyda’s Outdoor Center in Lebanon.

“It’s not like we’ve had our door open and not (been) listening,” Shyda said. “We’ve all been following the guidelines and because maybe one business wants to go out and do their own thing doesn’t mean the rest of us should get punished.”

Deimler says now his customers are just going across the border to Hershey and other areas open for dine-in.

“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 said.

The soonest Lebanon County could move to the green phase probably isn’t for another two weeks, but for now, Deimler says he’ll continue following the guidelines set under the yellow phase.

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