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HONESDALE – After weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions between county officials and representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Department of Health – and plenty of public advocacy including Wednesday’s press conference at Tick Tock’s – Wayne County has received word that those efforts have been fruitful and the County will be moved to the Yellow Phase on Friday, May 22. Yellow means more businesses can open with strict safety measures in place.
This announcement comes on the heels of the county spending more than two months being responsible citizens and banding together to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts have worked as the number of positive cases in the County has slowed to a crawl.
But these efforts have taken a toll on the business landscape, the economy and the morale of many county residents.
“By moving us to Yellow, which in our estimation was the right thing, based on the data we’ve all been monitoring, the people of Wayne could begin to get a sense of normalcy in their lives that they’ve lacked since March 6,” Commissioner Brian Smith said. “This is a normalcy millions of fellow state residents have gone back to.”
Moving the county to the Yellow Phase will enable many small businesses to reopen, if they so choose, provided they abide by CDC guidelines. It would not permit many businesses where social distancing is not so easy to practice to do the same.
“There has been two months of learning best practices and adapting to social distancing, protecting ourselves and others and keeping the spread of the disease from happening,” Commissioner Joe Adams said.
“We appreciate the governor recognized this and decided to move us one step closer to reopening our economy,” said Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer.
“We not only thank Gov. Wolf and his staff, but also Sen. Lisa Baker, Reps. Jon Fritz and Mike Peifer, our economic development and chamber partners, our health care professionals and our valued business community that has implemented safety measures that are working and will continue to do what is right and necessary to help curb this deadly virus,” the commissioners jointly said. “All have combined to work as a team with the best interests of Wayne County at heart.”
“We also want to thank our residents and visitors who have adhered to protocols and guidance and helped us get to this point,” they added.
To view what moving to the Yellow Phase means for businesses, go to: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553495/UPDATED-8-45-PM-May-11-2020-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs and for more, go to: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#PhasedReopening