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'I Am Trying To Save What Is Left Of My Community': Greene Co. DA Says He Won't Prosecute Businesses That Open Before Entering 'Yellow' Phase Of Gov. Wolf's Reopening Plan

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- Greene County District Attorney David Russo announced he will not prosecute any small businesses that open their doors today and follow safety measures.

The area has been put into the "yellow phase," but that doesn't go into effect until Friday.

In a statement Russo says in part:

"Many of the businesses in Pennsylvania may not be able to recover from the Governor's actions. I am trying to save what is left of my community."

For businesses that do open, they will have to follow CDC recommendations, practice social distancing, and provide personal protective equipment for their workers and customers.

The District Attorney says that as long as they follow these guidelines, they won't be prosecuted.


The chairman of the Greene County Commissioners Mike Belding believes that with lower amounts of cases than other areas, people should be rewarded for their prevention efforts.

But Gov. Tom Wolf said, "The reward for desertion cannot be that you're just like everybody else and get discretionary funding. Discretionary funding will go to places that are doing everything they ought to do to keep their citizens safe."

He says that the county has done what it's supposed to do and it's time to reopen.

Owners of businesses in the county say that they have been preparing to reopen for weeks, and that they have sanitizer on hand and plan to limit the number of people inside.

Pamela Marisa owns two businesses in Greene county. One was deemed life-sustaining and the other had to close. She is waiting until the "yellow phase" starts to open her closed business.

"We're waiting until May 15," she said. "I think it is a personal decision to decide what they want to do."

Greene County is also one of four counties in our area to file a federal lawsuit against Gov. Wolf, saying the business shutdown order violates constitutional rights.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:

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