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So what is the phase after green? Wolf says masks and social distancing likely for the foreseeable future

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In Pennsylvania today, there are no counties in the red phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Next Friday, 12 more counties will move into the green phase Wolf’s plan, meaning that 46 counties will then be in the green phase with 21 counties in yellow (including Dauphin County).

So, Wolf was asked Friday during a press briefing, what comes after the green phase? The golden phase? What is the “new normal” going to be?

“We don’t have the plan in place yet, but that’s absolutely what are attention is focused on right now,” Wolf said.

The governor said this might not be the last infectious disease the state or country faces, and as Pennsylvania moves toward flu season in the fall, there likely will not be a vaccine or the ability to do universal coronavirus testing.

“What we’re working on is, what does life look like? We’re going to have to act differently. We’re probably going to all be wearing masks. We’re probably all going to be exercising social distancing, just being a little more careful in terms of touching other folks. We’re trying to figure out what the new world looks like. We will do everything we can to make it as comfortable and as much as the old normal as possible.”

Secretary of Health Rachel Levine also said officials haven’t determined if the next step will be another color of just a different phase of green.

“Whether we call it golden or it’s just green, we don’t intend to continue all those restrictions forever. But we’re going to have to be alert and vigilant in the fall for an increase of coronavirus cases,” she said.

However, she said, the state will be able to further relax business and restaurant restrictions. Even in the green phase, there are significant restrictions on businesses:

• Large gatherings of more than 250 prohibited.

• Restaurants and bars open at 50 percent occupancy.

• Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50 percent occupancy and by appointment only.

• Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services (such as gyms and spas) open at 50 percent occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged.

• All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50 percent occupancy.

• Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocols.

“The green phase eases most restrictions by continuing the suspension of the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health,” according to information provided by the governor’s office.

Here are the full overview of guidelines for green and yellow phases, according to the governor’s office.

GREEN PHASE

As of June 5, these 34 counties are in the green phase: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland.

After a county transitions to the yellow phase, the state is closely monitoring for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, the county will transition to the green phase.

The green phase eases most restrictions by continuing the suspension of the stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.

Work and congregate setting restrictions

• Continued telework strongly encouraged.

• Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements.

• All businesses operating at 50 percent occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75 percent occupancy.

• Child care may open complying with guidance.

• Congregate care restrictions in place.

• Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities.

• Schools subject to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania guidance.

Social restrictions

• Large gatherings of more than 250 prohibited.

• Restaurants and bars open at 50 percent occupancy.

• Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50 percent occupancy and by appointment only.

• Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services (such as gyms and spas) open at 50 percent occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged.

• All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50 percent occupancy.

• Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocols.

The state continues to use risk-based metrics from Carnegie Mellon University, with additional criteria including contact tracing and testing capability, a sustained reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and infection rates, to make decisions on county moves.

After a county transitions to the yellow phase, the commonwealth will closely monitor for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, the county will transition to the green phase.

YELLOW PHASE

As of June 5, these 33 counties are in the yellow phase: Adams, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming and York.

Outdoor dining begins in the yellow phase today.

As regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, hair and nail salons, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place.

Work and congregate setting restrictions

• Telework must continue where feasible.

• businesses with in-person operations must follow Business and Building Safety Orders.

• Child care may open complying with guidance.

• Congregate care and prison restrictions in place.

• Schools may provide in-person instruction only in accordance with Department of Education guidance.

Social restrictions

• Stay-at-home order lifted for aggressive mitigation.

• Large gatherings of more than 25 prohibited.

• In-person retail allowable, curbside and delivery preferable.

• Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and personal care services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) remain closed.

• Restaurants and bars may open outdoor dining, in addition to carry-out and delivery (effective June 5).