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'There Is Not One-Size-Fits-All': Gov. Tom Wolf Says Southwestern Pa.'s Lower Prevalence Of Coronavirus Cases Will Be Factored Into Regional Reopening

HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- The governor has promised to reopen the state region by region.

Since Allegheny County's numbers continue to fall, there's increasing pressure for him to lift restrictions on businesses like home sales.

The coronavirus shutdown has slowed real estate and home sales to a crawl. Agents aren't permitted to show houses in person and must rely on videos to convince buyers.

"How can we people in real estate, how can buyers start to look at properties again? And there are just countless, countless folks who are in limbo right now," said Hoddy Hanna of Howard Hanna Real Estate.

He has 2,000 employees and 7,000 independent contractors says by observing social distancing, CDC guidelines and requiring buyers and sellers to wear masks, sales could be conducted safely.


And he's pleaded with the governor's office to lift restrictions here in southwestern Pa. where virus numbers have remained low throughout the pandemic and are now declining.

On a reporter conference call, KDKA's Andy Sheehan asked the Gov. Tom Wolf if our region might open first.

Sheehan: Given the low prevalence of cases in southwestern Pennsylvania, what are the chances the economy opens up in a meaningful, broad way on May 8?

Wolf: You make a really good point. When it comes to different places of the state, the rate of infection is lower, the contagion doesn't seem to be acting anywhere near as quickly and seems to be on the decline in the area. Those are exactly the things we need to look at with our data-driven evidence based decision making.

Sheehan: Doesn't the evidence show that we could reopen southwestern Pa. under CDC guidelines ?

Wolf: There is not one-size-fits-all. I think we start reopening some areas of the state in a fairly robust way, other areas less so.

You can see by his answers the governor was non-committal, but leaves open the possibility the region could reopen on a large scale in early May if our numbers continue to decline. And that can't happen soon enough for the real estate industry.

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