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2020 News

Bucks to Go Green Next Friday, Wolf Announces

June 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

The long wait is over. Bucks County is going green next Friday.

Signaling the end of a three-month shutdown that stymied businesses, workplaces and social norms, sparked political animosity and left nerves and tempers frayed in the fight to contain COVID-19, Gov. Tom Wolf announced today that Bucks and 11 other Pennsylvania counties will be allowed to move into the least-restrictive green phase of his reopening plan on June 26. greenprep1

“It’s a testament to the many residents and businesses that have sacrificed over the past three months to stay home and adhere to the guidance the state has provided to protect lives and livelihoods,” Wolf said.

Bucks County will be joined by Berks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna Counties, all of which will be allowed to move to green next Friday, although Philadelphia will leave some added restrictions in place until July 3.

Only Lebanon County, which voted in late May to reopen early against Wolf’s orders, and is now experiencing increased rates of infection, remains under yellow.

“Case counts have escalated and the county is not yet ready to be reopened,” said state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “Lebanon County has hindered its progress by reopening too early.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania is one of only three states that has shown a 42-day steady decline in COVID-19 cases. Fewer than half of all states currently are showing a decline in COVID-19 cases.

Moving into the green phase will enable previously-closed businesses such as hair and nail salons, health and wellness centers, casinos and theaters to open at 50 percent occupancy. Gatherings of up to 250 people will be allowed with the appropriate social distancing, restaurants and bars can open their inside facilities to 50 percent occupancy, and businesses that previously operated at 50 percent occupancy under yellow may increase to 75 percent.

Masks are still required to enter businesses. Please see Bucks County’s COVID-19 Economic Resources Portal for more complete guidance on the move to green.

“We’re very excited for all businesses to finally open next Friday; it’s been a long road for many of them,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “Our citizens have done a terrific job of being mindful of the precautions needed to keep community spread of COVID low, and we need them to continue doing so in the green phase.”

The health department continued to see a low level of new infections throughout the week. Thirteen new cases were reported today, in addition to nine delayed reports that no longer are considered infectious.

Of those 22 cases, 14 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, four were infected through household contacts, two were attributed to pure community spread, one was spread in a workplace, and one was not able to be interviewed immediately.

Three deaths were reported, pushing Bucks County’s COVID-19 death toll past 500 for the first time. Two of the decedents were residents of long-term care facilities who had underlying health conditions.

Seventy-five Bucks County coronavirus patients remain hospitalized, 13 of them in critical condition and on ventilators, while 2,936 people are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

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