TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – While some of our counties prepare for their transition into the yellow phase, some Wyoming County neighbors are crying foul for being left out of that group.
Crowds of people gathered outside Wyoming County courthouse, all with the same request: move the county to the next phase of reopening.
George Yuhmas is one of the primary organizers of this rally. He is concerned about the families behind the small businesses that make up much of the community.
Yuhmas tells us, “before my head starts to throb and thinking how I am going to survive my family. When someone takes the ability for me to survive my family, it’s happened to other people around me and I don’t appreciate that.”
With two deaths and 28 cases total in the county, even Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry thought the rural county was on board to reopen Friday.
Yuhmas says, “in no way am I saying that we don’t need to be cautious and do all the right things to keep everyone safe, but I think we could do that. I think we are smart enough here in Wyoming County that we could get the job done without hurting anybody’s health.”
But Governor Wolf says Wyoming County’s proximity to two hot spot counties, Lackawanna and Luzerne could be risky.
Yuhmas says, “we’re looking at each county on its own. We take into account that they are surrounded by other counties.”
Dissatisfied with the state’s decision to not reopen, protestors held signs saying things like, “bitten by the wolf” and “don’t tread on me.”
Yuhmas argues Wyoming County does not have the metropolitan attraction to draw many outsiders in.
“We’re not going to be a land buffer and use that as an excuse. We hit the numbers. We’re done asking for permission our commissioners have parliamentary procedures they have to follow and they’re being ignored. We’re not going to be ignored,” says Yuhmas.
If anything, he argues Wyoming County could be used as a model to help other counties when they are ready to reopen too.
Organizers plan to continue taking action and hold more events, including a church service on Sunday.