COVID-19 restrictions for Bradford County will be mostly lifted as of 12:01 a.m. May 29, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday.
At that time, Bradford, Sullivan, Tioga, and 14 other counties will move from the yellow to green phase under the state’s tiered reopening plan.
“We know not only that we succeeded in slowing case growth, but that our actions, our collective decisions to stay at home and avoid social contact — we know that saved lives,” Wolf said. “My stay-at-home order did exactly what it was intended to do: It saved lives and it bought us valuable time.”
Counties that have transitioned to the yellow phase have been closely monitored for risks associated with transitioning to the green phase over the past two weeks.
The governor said some precautions will continue through the green phase, including occupancy limitations, encouragement to work remotely if possible, and limitations to visiting high-risk environments. Restaurants and bars will be able to open at 50% occupancy along with personal care services such as hair salons and barbershops, although personal care services will have to be by appointment only. Entertainment and indoor recreation will also be allowed open at half capacity. The green phase will also include updated safety requirements for businesses with in-person operations.
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said more details about the green phase will be released next week.
Joining Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga counties in transitioning to the green phase are Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Venango, and Warren counties. This will come as Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties remain in the red phase, although they are scheduled to go yellow by June 5.
“We continue to increase testing every day and are continuing to build our contact tracing capacity, as well,” Wolf said. “We are able to do these things, to be successful, to reopen in this manner because of the Pennsylvanians who have made tremendous sacrifices since the virus emerged in our state. Thank you.”
“I want to remember and honor all of those who we lost and give solace to their family and loved ones,” he added. “The last two months have been trying and they have tested each of us, and I want to thank and acknowledge all the people of our commonwealth who have been called upon to upend their lives to keep their neighbors, friends and family safe.”
Bradford County remains at 43 positive COVID-19 cases to date with three deaths, while Sullivan has had two positive cases, according to Friday’s update from the Department of Health.
During Friday’s briefing, Levine said there were no immediate plans to compile county-specific recovery data, although she said 57% of those afflicted across the state have fully recovered.
Friday’s statewide totals included 66,258 total COVID-19 cases and 4,984 deaths.