HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As Pennsylvania appears poised to make a return on May 8, Gov. Wolf provided greater detail on Wednesday for how the state will start to reopen.
“We will not just be flipping a switch and going from closed to open,” Wolf said. “And ultimately the virus is going to set a timeline, not us.”
The governor said the process of reopening will be gradual. Counties can expect to reopen when there are fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents for 14 days.
The plan is anticipated to be handled in three phases: red, yellow, and green.
“These steps will be in combination with a regional approach,” Wolf said.
All of Pennsylvania is currently at the red stage, Wolf said. That means all residents in the commonwealth are still under stay-at-home orders while only life-sustaining businesses are open.
As parts of the state transition to the yellow phase, restrictions will gradually be lifted. This phase is slated to begin May 8, specifically in northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania.
This phase will lift some aspects of the business closure order, but “high-risk activities” will still be restricted such as keeping schools closed and limiting restaurants/bars to take out or delivery. Retail stores will be allowed to open with protection for customers and workers.
There will still be a ban on large gatherings, gyms, casinos, theaters, and other indoor recreational, wellness, and entertainment venues.
Once regions reach the green phase, the stay-at-home order will mostly be lifted, with exception to following CDC and Pennsylvania Health Department guidelines. Wolf said an example would be universal masking if required by either.
Pennsylvania is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to develop the metrics and data used to help reopen the state.
The full plan can be accessed here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.