May. 01, 2020

GROVE CITY – Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) announced today that Mercer County will move to the yellow phase under Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan, while Butler County will remain in the red phase, which includes the stay-at-home order.

This means that beginning next Friday, May 8, at 12:01 a.m., residents in Mercer County will see some restrictions on work and social interaction ease, while others remain in place.

“I am pleased to see that the governor is moving, although slowly, in the right direction by easing some of the rigorous guidelines he had previously set in place,” said Bonner. “However, when it comes to reopening our Commonwealth, I would prefer that the governor take a more positive approach and allow businesses to reopen if they adhere to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This would show that the governor trusts our citizens to make good decisions in terms of the health and safety of their employees and customers and help restore our economy, which is also very critical to our health, safety and welfare.”

On Monday, May 4, the Wolf administration will release guidance for businesses permitted to reopen on May 8 in the 24 counties he moved to the yellow phase, including Mercer County. The guidance is being developed through collaboration with the affected counties, Team PA, the Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Labor and Industry, among others. Guidance will build on existing safety and building safety orders released in April.

Here are the initial guidelines for counties that have moved to the yellow phase:

Work and Congregate Setting Restrictions

· Telework must continue where feasible.

· Businesses with in-person operations must follow business and building safety orders.

· Child care open complying with guidance.

· Congregate care and prison restrictions in place.

· Schools remain closed for in-person instruction.

· Social restrictions.

Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation

· Large gatherings of more than 25 prohibited.

· In-person retail allowable, curbside and delivery preferable.

· Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and personal care services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) remain closed.

· Restaurants and bars limited to carry-out and delivery only.

All businesses not specifically mentioned as restricted from reopening may reopen if they follow the forthcoming guidance.

The governor emphasized that if an outbreak occurs in one of the communities that has been moved to yellow, it will revert to the red category until the new case count falls again.

Counties that will remain under the stay-at-home order, such as Butler County, will be considered for reopening in the next several weeks as the state continues to closely monitor metrics and collaborate with Carnegie Mellon University, health experts and counties.

The full reopening plan is available here

Representative Tim Bonner
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives.