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'Status Quo In Westmoreland County': Leaders See Increase In Coronavirus Cases But Wait For State Guidance Before Closing Businesses

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) - Westmoreland County has seen an increase in coronavirus cases, but county leaders say they're waiting on Harrisburg for guidance on whether to shut down certain businesses again, including bars.

There are a lot of eyes on the coronavirus numbers, but from policy makers to business owners, KDKA's Ross Guidotti reports the word is "there's only so much that can be done" and going back to red or yellow phases could spell serious and long-term economic damage.

As owner of The Boulevard restaurant in Greensburg, Bobbi Lynn Frye is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 numbers in Western Pa.

Westmoreland County's coronavirus numbers are going up, but not as dramatically as the spike in infections in Allegheny County, where the new cases prompted a shut down of bars.

Bobbi Lynn Frye thinks population and adherence to strict rules to halt the spread are the reasons the numbers are climbing, but are not at critical levels.

"We have removed a lot of our tables, we've closed down some of our tables and we've removed a lot of bar stools -- over half," says Frye. "We have our hostess stop everyone at the door and explain our procedures."

In the county, the state reported 20 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. But even if the number sky rocketed, Westmoreland County commissioners -- again, due to population -- just couldn't mandate the closure of bars.

"We could not do that," says Commissioner Sean Kertes. "We have to follow the state mandates set in place by the governor's office."

And right now, the county remains in the "green" zone.

"At this point, it's status quo for Westmoreland County. Everything will stay open, follow the social distance guidelines," says Kertes.

Both Commissioner Kertes and Frye are hoping it stays that way, because if Westmoreland County goes red again, their opinion is the outcome could be catastrophic.

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