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Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

Schuylkill County Thumbs Nose at Wolf – Going Yellow on May 15

Perhaps buoyed by neighboring counties, Schuylkill County officials now say we’re going to Phase Yellow of the state’s coronavirus re-opening plan on May 15.

We’re not going at this alone. In the last 24 hours, the following counties announced plans to go to Yellow on their own on May 15:

  • Lebanon
  • Dauphin
  • Perry
  • Cumberland
  • York
  • Beaver

Add Schuylkill to the list now. We’re all in this together, right?

Schuylkill County Says We’re Going Phase Yellow on May 15

Presuming this happens, we’ll be going to Phase Yellow of the coronavirus reopening in less than a week. This goes against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to keep Schuylkill County (and the others listed above) in Phase Red of the reopening plan.

On Friday, the Schuylkill County coronavirus task force sent a letter to Wolf asking him to change our phase. After we announced our request, several counties — Lebanon, we believe, first among them — upped the ante and said they were going to Phase Yellow despite what Wolf said.

SHTF Moment in Pennsylvania Coronavirus Response

A group of 6 Schuylkill County elected officials signed the letter sent to Gov. Wolf on Saturday.

It reads as follows:

Dear Governor Wolf:

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 15, 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 over-burdening 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.

The letter is signed by the following elected officials:

  • State Sen. Dave Argall
  • State Rep. Jerry Knowles
  • State Rep. Mike Tobash
  • George Halcovage, Schuylkill County Commissioner
  • Gary Hess, Schuylkill County Commissioner
  • Barron Hetherington, Schuylkill County Commissioner

Here’s a copy of the full letter we received from Knowles on Saturday afternoon:



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  1. Pingback: Schuylkill Task Force Says We're Ready to Re-Open - Coal Region Canary

  2. PTFloridians

    May 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    I, personally, applaud each and every one of these men, elected by “we the people” to represent us and work for us. This is a MAJOR move to show strength and wherewithal in our County, despite our Governor (and his Health Homie) lying, changing the narrative and vision of this nonsensical behavior. DON’T FORGET THE DECISION TO PUT COVID PATIENTS IN OUR NURSING AND ELDERLY FACILITIES, by Wolf’s Health Homie…thier actions jeopardized our residents residing there, as well as the people that work there. Levine AND Wolf should resign for thier erratic and weaponizing behaviors…what a disgrace to the people they were supposed to represent and work for.

  3. Linda H

    May 9, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Yeah Schuylkill!! Welcome aboard!

  4. Dennis Klinger

    May 9, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Ladies and gentle men,start your work shoes.I’ve noticed a lot of the people’s who want us to hide behind our couch till this boogie man leaves ,either work from home or don’t work.I fully support people going back to work to feed their families and not rely on the gov For a hand out.

  5. Linda H

    May 10, 2020 at 7:21 am

    I see Franklin Co. has joined the band too. I am sure there are others I am not aware of, just yet.
    For anyone who is self employed, this “government assistance” is a royal slap upside the head with a 2 x 4. I know more than one person who is getting $195.00 a week. They have a very successful full time business, and are worth less than 200.00 a week Could not even round it up by 5 bucks. Complete BS.

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