Saturday, May 9, 2020

Schuylkill County Local and State Officials to Governor Wolf "County Moving Forward on Reopening Plans"

Schuylkill County's Local and State Officials have sent a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf notifying him of their plans to move Schuylkill County from the Red Phase to the Yellow Phase.

In the letter to the Governor, signed by Senator David Argall, Representative Jerry Knowles, Representative Mike Tobash, Commissioner George Halcovage, Commissioner Gary Hess, and Commission Barron Hetherington, the county officials informed Wolf of their intention to move Schuylkill County from the Red Phase to the Yellow phase effective May 15th, 2020.

The letter states"
As elected officials of Schuylkill County, this letter serves to inform you of our intention to move from the Red Phase to the Yellow Phase of your COVID- 19 Phased Reopening Plan, effective May 15th, 2020.
Schuylkill County has met the requirement of your original Stay-at-Home Order, which was to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak and allow hospitals the time to gear up for COVID-19 patients being admitted to the ICU and in need of ventilators. The residents of our county have heeded your instructions to practice social distancing and other mitigation efforts, and as a result, our local healthcare facilities do not lack the capacity to effectively treat these patients going forward. Both PPE supply and the availability of COVID-19 tests have increased since mid-March. These factors have provided our local healthcare facilities with the confidence to address any upcoming concerns as Schuylkill County moves to the Yellow Phase. 

We, as elected officials, have a vested interest in keeping our community safe and free from disease, and not overburdening the health care facilities in the county. We have heard the pleas of our residents who desire the ability to safely re-open their businesses and safely return to work. Schuylkill County plans to move forward and will require businesses who are ready to re-open to follow CDC guidelines including requirements such as hand washing, social distancing, and masks until further guidance is received for the county to move to the Green Phase.

"As stated previously, based on sound information from our Task Force, Schuylkill County is prepared and ready to go into the yellow phase. Please follow the Guidelines of the CDC and Department of Health as we validate this move going forward.  " said Schuylkill County Commission George Halcovage.

Schuylkill County joins Lebanon and Dauphin Counties in notifying Governor Wolf of their intent to move to the yellow phase on their own.