Pennsylvania continued moving toward opening its economy Friday, putting 12 counties into the green phase today and announcing plans for eight more to join them next week.
The moves came as the state has seen fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths since its peak in April. As of Friday, the state has confirmed 75,800 cases, with another 2,199 probably cases, and 6,162 deaths.
On Friday morning, Gov. Tom Wolf moved 12 new counties into the green phase of the state’s reopening plan. With the addition of Adams, Beaver, Cambria, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York, 46 of the state’s 67 counties are in the green phase.
On Friday afternoon, the governor’s office also announced that eight counties will move to the green phase on June 19. Those counties are Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill.
The green phase means some restrictions stay in place, but others are eased. For example, large group gatherings can include up to 250 people, while the maximum size in the yellow phase is 25 people.
Restaurants and bars are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. The same is true for businesses like gyms and wellness facilities, where appointments are encouraged. Businesses operating at 50 percent occupancy can move to 75 percent.
Construction work can return, but safety protocols are expected to be maintained.
People are still expected to wear masks when entering businesses and telework is still recommended when possible.
More counties from the yellow phase could move into the green phase if they continue to meet several indicators.
Correspondent Patrick Abdalla covers northeastern Pennsylvania for the Capital-Star. Follow him on Twitter @PaddyAbs.