BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A Pennsylvania county passes a resolution to move from the Red to Yellow Phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.
On Wednesday, Columbia County’s Commissioners voted unanimously on a resolution– moving the county to the Yellow Phase of Governor Wolf’s plan Friday May 15.
However, the resolution states it could become null and void if Governor Wolf includes Columbia County in the next round of phase adjustments.
Columbia County Commissioner Rich Ridgway says, ”we aren’t asking for a lot.”
In Columbia County the Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported 330 COVID-19 cases and 28 COVID-19 related deaths.
However, Commissioner Ridgway says sixty to seventy percent of those COVID-19 cases are in nursing homes.
“The goal that the governor set up is unattainable for us, we will never go out of the red and the thing that’s pulling us down is the nursing homes,” says Ridgway.
Commissioners say they have to look out for all of the more than 65,000 residents in Columbia County, and felt they had no other option than to challenge the Governor’s stay-at home order.
“We didn’t want to do what we did today, and if the governor can somehow get us to yellow than the resolution that we made today would be null and void,” says Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach.
Meaning, if Governor Wolf announces Friday Columbia County can move to the Yellow Phase by May 22, the resolution dissolves.
During Wednesday’s COVID-19 state press briefing, Secretary of Health Doctor Rachel Levine said the state is looking into all the data for Columbia County to move to the next phase.
“Well we are looking as I mentioned at that data now and we’ll be making our determinations and our recommendations to the governor presently,” says Dr. Rachel Levine.
But, if Governor Wolf does not announce Columbia County can move to the yellow phase—
“Then we’re going to enact our resolution,” Kovach.
Governor Wolf is expected to announce another round of counties ready to move to the Yellow Phase this Friday.