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Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Gov. Wolf Says Southwest Region Is Doing A 'Phenomenal' Job And A Reopening Announcement Will Be Made 'Soon'

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Gov. Tom Wolf said the southwest region can expect an announcement on moving from the red to yellow phase "soon."

"We will be making an announcement on that soon," said Gov. Tom Wolf on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. "As I said last week, southwestern Pennsylvania is doing a really good job. We're doing the best we can to keep people safe within the constraints of this deadly virus."

"The southwest is doing a great job, and the hope is that they can move into the yellow phase like the 24 counties I announced last Friday fairly quickly," Gov. Wolf went on to say.

On Friday, his administration released which 24 counties in the rural northern part of the state will reopen come May 8.

The southwest region will remain in the "red" phase, meaning the stay-at-home order won't be lifted until the region is moved into the "yellow" phase.

Allegheny County and the rest of the region easily met the governor's criteria of new cases, staying under 50 per 100,000 over 14 days. Allegheny has had less than 30, and the region has had about 33.

Area hospitals have never been stressed, and Allegheny County says its testing and tracing of those who have come in contact with infected people has allowed it to isolate and contain spikes.


When asked Friday why the southwestern part of the state would not open, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine cited population density as a concern.

"We felt it prudent that, looking at all the different data and all the metrics, but then taking into consideration our ability to work with counties in terms of contact tracing and testing, and the population density of Allegheny County and Pittsburgh, that it was not prudent to go from red to yellow at this time. But we are hoping to do that in the future," Dr. Rachel Levine said.

Even Friday as the reopening announcement was made, Gov. Wolf acknowledged the progress the southwest region has made in flattening the curve.

"We're already looking at other counties to move from red to yellow," says Gov. Tom Wolf. "In particular, we have our eyes on counties in the southwest and a few in the south-central regions that have lower new case rates, but where we have a few concerns."

Gov. Wolf did not say how soon the southwest region can expect a reopening announcement.

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