OYLESTOWN/NEWTOWN/LEVITTOWN >> State Reps. Wendy Ullman, Tina Davis, John Galloway, and Perry Warren, all D-Bucks, praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s collaborative working relationship with the PA House Democratic Caucus, which has resulted in Bucks County moving to the yellow phase by June 5.
“Since Day One, my colleagues and I have worked with Governor Tom Wolf and the PA Department of Health toward a measured, data-driven, SAFE and EFFECTIVE reopening of the economy,” Warren said. “Today, thanks to the efforts and collective sacrifice our community has made, Governor Wolf has announced our county is moving into the yellow phase by June 5.”
“Governor Wolf listened to my reasoning why it was time to reopen Bucks County,” Ullman said. “I pointed out that the data and health reports showed that Bucks County residents’ efforts during the red phase had been successful, and we were now at a point where we could safely move to the yellow phase.”
“I’ve shared with Governor Wolf the stories of my hardest-hit constituents. A business owner myself, I told him how far the bottom line has dropped from under us,” Davis said. “I’m proud of my fellow Bucks County residents for their efforts during this challenging period and am ready to help them get working again.”
Galloway said, “I explained to the governor that the people of Bucks County’s sacrifices under the Stay-At-Home order have paid off, and it’s now time to focus on bringing back Bucks County to good economic health by helping our small businesses get back on their feet.”
The legislators stressed the need for people to continue to follow CDC guidelines.
After all that we’ve been through, we don’t want to go back to red. Aim for the green phase by continuing to stand six feet apart and wearing a mask, the legislators said.
In deciding which counties to move to yellow, the state uses risk-based metrics from Carnegie Mellon University combined with contact tracing and testing capability and a sustained reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations. While the 50 new cases per 100,000 population was considered, it did not weigh any more heavily than other factors.
Over the past two weeks:
- The state has seen sustained reductions in hospitalizations. From May 8 when the first counties moved to yellow to yesterday, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized dropped by nearly one thousand – from 2,618 to 1,667.
- The number of COVID patients on ventilators shrank by about a third, from 505 to 347.
- New cases continue to decline: From May 8 to May 15, the state added 6,384 cases and from May 15 to 21, added 4,770.
- The current COVID-19 incidence rate in the state is 83.4 cases per 100,000 people. Two weeks ago, it was 113.6 per 100,000. Most other states are seeing their new case rate continue to increase or remain flat. Pennsylvania is one of just 19 states with new case-rate declines.
Counties that have been in the yellow phase for the requisite 14 days have been closely monitored for the risk associated with transitioning to the green phase.
In the green phase, we will continue to take precautions, including reducing building capacity, encouraging teleworking, limiting visitation in certain high-risk environments, and preventing large entertainment gatherings.
The guidelines for moving to green are available here, and include specifics for employers, large events, and social gatherings.
For a description of the Red, Yellow and Green phases of the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, please see here: https://bit.ly/2VSw6AQ.