Miller: 'Still a lot of unanswered questions' with COVID-19 reopening

Bradford County Commissioner Chairman Daryl Miller talks about the uncertain future for businesses due to the state’s COVID-19 response during Thursday’s commissioners meeting.

With Bradford County now two weeks into the green phase of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 reopening plan, Commissioner Chairman Daryl Miller said there are still many unanswered questions — including what is next and when will it happen?

“It seems to be going well in Bradford County, the green phase, but we need to get past the green phase because businesses, small businesses, can’t sustain for any length of time 50% occupancy or a restricted ability to do business,” Miller said during Thursday’s commissioners meeting. “We’ve gotta get past this. There has to be a way forward.”

Both Miller and Commissioner Doug McLinko, as they have in the past, expressed confidence in local business owners and those across the commonwealth to do business safely without state imposed restrictions that could hinder their sustainability.

The county’s COVID-19 numbers have stayed consistent over more than two weeks now. The state’s new COVID-19 dashboard created by the Department of Health shows Bradford County holding steady at 46 cases to date, although it now clarifies that four of those cases are probable while 42 are confirmed. There have also been 2,054 negative tests.

Of the 75,119 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the state to date, the Department of Health now estimates that 72% of patients have fully recovered.

Miller noted that there are a number of businesses in the county that appear like they might not recover from the previous COVID-19 closures.

McLinko said he has heard reports of a possible white phase that would completely ease restrictions once a vaccine is created, which has been reported by at least one news outlet. However, the Department of Health said Thursday there isn’t any plan currently in place beyond the current green phase restrictions.

Questioned about a possible white phase or the lifting of additional restrictions as part of the green phase moving forward, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said, “We will continue to assess the data being provided and the latest information on the coronavirus as we look to determine what the next phase looks like, and whether it would require any type of mitigation efforts.”

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