HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf is set to announce that 13 western Pennsylvania counties, including the heavily populated Pittsburgh metropolitan area, can shed his most restrictive Coronavirus pandemic orders on movement and businesses.
The counties to be announced Friday for reopening in a week are Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Those comprise nearly 2.7 million residents.
The only western county held back, Beaver County, is home to perhaps the state’s worst nursing home outbreak.
On Thursday night and Friday morning, at least three state legislators were indicating parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania would be a part of the announcement.
Sen. Camera Bartolotta posted on Facebook that Washington and Greene counties will be moved into the “yellow” phase beginning May 15.
State Sen. Kim Ward posted to Facebook Friday morning that the Governor’s Office indicated to her that Westmoreland County would also be moving to the “yellow” phase during Gov. Wolf’s announcement.
State Rep. Jason Ortitay posted that Gov. Tom Wolf will announce Friday that all southwestern counties except, Beaver County, will move into the “yellow” phase on May 15.
Earlier this week, Gov. Wolf indicated he was getting ready to make an announcement about the southwestern region.
“The southwest is doing a great job, and the hope is that they can move into the yellow phase like the 24 counties I announced last Friday fairly quickly,” he said.
Gov. Wolf announced the first wave of reopenings last Friday.
Two dozen Pennsylvania counties in the rural north are beginning to emerge from lockdown today, with 1.5 million residents permitted to freely leave their homes for the first time since April 1 and retailers and other kinds of businesses allowed to reopen.
Located in a primarily rural swath of northern Pennsylvania, the counties have only been lightly impacted by a pandemic that has killed more than 3,400 people statewide. They are the first to have pandemic restrictions eased in Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.
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