Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he’s pleased the county will begin to reopen but warns there are still significant challenges ahead.
by Charles Wolfson
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that Allegheny County is among 13 counties that will move to the yellow phase of reopening on May 15.
“Residents should be mindful that yellow still means caution,” Wolf said at a press conference. “If a new case count begins to climb in one area, restrictions will need to be imposed to prevent local medical facilities from being overwhelmed.”
Allegheny is the most densely populated county to get the yellow light so far, though its coronavirus toll has been far less severe than that of the Philadelphia metropolitan area, which remains in the red phase.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in an interview with PublicSource Friday he’s pleased that the county will begin reopening but that the community is still at the beginning of the road to recovery.
“If you’re in a nine-inning game, we’re maybe in the second inning, and we have a long way to go,” Fitzgerald said.
In the yellow phase, the stay-at-home order that went into effect April 1 is lifted but strong mitigation measures are still in place. People are to continue to telework when possible; businesses with in-person operations must follow safety measures; and schools will remain closed along with theaters, bars, hair salons and gyms. Restaurants are still barred from offering dine-in service.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of challenges for a lot of businesses,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s going to be really important as people leave their house more frequently … to make sure that they keep that distancing, that they’re wearing their masks, to try to stagger work hours so not everyone is showing up at the same time.”
A person wearing a face mask stands near the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street in downtown Pittsburgh on April 29, 2020. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
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