PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - On Thursday evening Governor Tom Wolf extended the stay-at-home order in red phase counties through June 4.
That’s another month of confinement for most Pennsylvanians.
The previous stay-at-home order expired at midnight.
“We’re looking to save people’s lives, we’re looking to keep people safe, and if you’re in a county that is ready to open and got to the yellow zone and we’re convinced that in doing that . . . very good chance of keeping people safe we will be moving to open you up, get you to the yellow zone as quickly as possible,” said Wolf.
And that is what people in Southwestern PA hope to hear from the governor Friday afternoon when he makes his announcements on what counties will be next to move into the yellow zone.
Multiple sources say Wolf will announced the Southwest region will shift from phase red to yellow on May 15.
Wolf will make that announcement public at 2 p.m.
Leaders in the region have been lobbying all week for an end to stay-at-home orders.
UPMC’s Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Donald Yealy says the region is ready.
This issue is protecting those that are most vulnerable, particularly the elderly and not hauling every social interaction or driving our economy into a depression.
Like the Governor, Dr. Yealy says physical distancing requirements must remain, he adds the coronavirus will be with us for months or even years.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said he is “hopeful” that Allegheny and the surrounding counties will be able to reopen.
Fitzgerald said over the past 14 days the county has had half the cases that need to be met to begin to slowly reopen.
During a conference call earlier this week, Wolf said that the Southwestern region was doing a great job mitigating the spread of coronavirus.
If the governor does confirm was many suspect and the region is able to move into yellow, it will likely begin on May 15.
There are now 1,439 cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County, either confirmed or probable. 117 have died.
The first wave of 24 counties movie into yellow Friday.
Those counties are, Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.