Gov. Tom Wolf announced in a press conference Friday afternoon, May 22, that Lebanon County will officially move to ‘yellow’ on May 29.
Last month, Gov. Wolf had released a three-tiered red-yellow-green plan to reopen Pennsylvania businesses.
Wolf’s decision puts Lebanon County in the second last cohort of counties to be moved to yellow. Lebanon will be joined by Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill counties in the transition next Friday.
All remaining counties—Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia—will be moved to yellow on June 5, a decision that Spotlight PA had reported earlier today prior to Wolf’s announcement.
On May 29, the first wave of counties will also be moved to green – Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, and Warren.
According to the administration’s Plan for Pennsylvania, the criteria for moving to green is that overall risk remains “mitigated” for two weeks in the yellow phase.
The state guideline for going yellow has been 50 new cases or less per 100,000 residents over a two week period, among other indicators. Lebanon County is currently at 67 for this metric, compared to 94 for the state as a whole.
Read More: Lebanon County daily COVID-19 tracker
As outlined by the administration, through the yellow phase, some types of businesses must remain closed, including gyms, spas, hair salons, and entertainment venues, and restaurants are to keep operations curtailed to carry-out and delivery only.
Last Friday, the Lebanon County Commissioners approved a non-binding go-yellow resolution that declared the county’s public and private sectors could operate under the yellow phase in advance of the governor’s timeline. The resolution had no specific legal weight outside of county operations.
Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf had previously said that her office would not prosecute or pursue legal action against any local business that wished to reopen, so long as they complied with an April 15 order on safe operations that was issued by the Wolf administration. Neither this policy nor the commissioners’ resolution would however protect firms from possible legal liability, loss of insurance coverage, or sanctions against business and occupational licenses.
Watch video of the press conference below.