Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced on Friday that 12 more counties will be allowed to begin reopening next week, May 22 — a move that still leaves 18 counties remaining under stringent lockdown orders until June 4.
Twelve counties — Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York — are permitted to move into the next phase of reopening next Friday, Wolf announced on Friday.
“Through our social distancing efforts, we have not only reversed a trajectory of exponential new case growth – we have cut it in half,” the governor said in a statement.
“And some of the counties that will be shifting into the yellow phase next week eliminated concerns that we had just two weeks ago,” he said, urging residents to continue in their efforts so he can “continue to add counties to the list of those in the yellow phase.”
The next batch of counties reopening includes Beaver, the lone western county remaining in red, and Columbia, which sent a letter to the governor this week, informing him of its intention of proceeding with reopening.
Twenty-four counties — 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 — moved to the yellow phase of reopening on May 8, and 13 others — Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland — joined them on Friday.
Noticeably absent from the list of counties permitted to reopen next week is Dauphin County, home of the state’s capital of Harrisburg.
Protesters flocked to the Capitol in protest of Wolf’s “draconian” orders on Friday, with one demonstrator referring to the governor as “Commie Tommy Tom Wolf.”
“I’m here protesting Commie Tommy Tom Wolf,” Catherine Callahan told Breitbart News:Matt Perdie
“I mean he’s a communist, and everything he has demonstrated for us today just proves that he is a communist,” she said. “Threatening to take away licenses to open your business, your liquor licenses, etcetera. He is refusing to let people run their lives and feed their families.
“This is America. This is not Stalinist Russia,” she added. “But he is trying to turn Pennsylvania into his own makeshift Stalinist Russia, and we won’t stand for it.”