Gov. Wolf emphasizes mitigation efforts to prevent flare-ups and relapse


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As 12 more counties get ready to move to the yellow phase next Friday, Gov. Tom Wolf emphasized the importance of mitigation efforts so no county goes back to red.

Entering the yellow phase of the governor’s reopening plan will allow many people to get back to work, but social distancing, masks and disinfecting are as important as ever.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says the cases of COVID-19 have peaked across the commonwealth.

“Regionally, case counts are trending downward over the last 14 days but we are still seeing pockets of outbreaks that are of concern,” Levine said.

She says there have been nearly 120,000 tests performed over the last two weeks.

“So far in the counties that have gone from red to yellow, we are altogether successfully managing testing, contact tracing, case investigations and outbreak responses,” Levine said.

Now added to that list are Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne and York counties.

“This virus has not been eradicated from those counties and we are continuing to closely monitor new case counts,” Wolf said.

The governor says he’s listening to state epidemiologists trained to analyze the virus.

“And I’ve based the movement of counties from red to yellow on their scientific and medical advice,” Wolf said. “It’s not just about the known number of cases, although that undoubtedly helps us identify hotspots.”

Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger knows there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“Our focus is going to be on doing everything we have to do to continue containing the medical situation so we can continue on this long and arduous road to recovery. But we took a big step today,” Eichelberger said.

Red phase stay-at-home orders remain in effect until June 4 but that does not mean that the remaining counties will be unable to move before that date.

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