Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Bradford County will move to the “green phase” of his reopening plan on May 29 during a press conference on Friday.
Eight additional counties will move to yellow and 16 others to green, effective at 12:01 a.m., May 29. All remaining counties in red are expected to move to yellow by June 5 at 12:01 a.m.
“We know not only that we succeeded in slowing case growth, but that our actions, our collective decisions to stay at home and avoid social contact – we know that saved lives,” Gov. Wolf said.
Bradford County has recorded 43 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, and three deaths have been attributed to the virus.
“I’m very thankful that we’re moving to green,” Commissioner Daryl Miller said. “We need to get back to our normal lives and our normal activities as quickly as we possibly can. We need to get businesses going. We need to get people’s incomes being regenerated. We need to get back to work.”
Miller and Commissioner Doug McLinko passed a resolution last week that said they would not prosecute Bradford County businesses that opened during the “yellow phase” — declaring Wolf’s decision to do so unconstitutional.
“There was a lot of concern about, even in the yellow state, about how devastating this is, and how this is affecting their bottom lines from a business standpoint and an income standpoint, and an ability to continue to support their employees,” Miller said.
Miller said he is expecting additional guidance from Harrisburg, and will issue it to businesses as it becomes available, as well as discuss it during Thursday’s Commissioners meeting.
“We’ll be able to make heightened awareness as to the states we’re going to be transitioning to then,” he said.
“We’re going to push out all the information we can to businesses and citizens of Bradford County, as to what this green phase means, and what needs to be done — being mindful that we need to do it in a safe manner. But we also need to get back to doing business too.”
Miller expressed his confidence in a safe reopening, citing the low number of cases and related deaths in Bradford County.
“The numbers have been low. They remain low,” he said. “You can’t ignore the danger. There’s a risk. But we also have to be aware that we’ve got to conduct our lives and get back to business and back to work.”
“I think everybody has done an outstanding job of doing what needed to be done,” Miller added.
The case rate in Pennsylvania has dropped approximately 50 percent since May 8, according to Gov. Wolf. The state has seen a total of 62,258 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, and 4,984 related deaths.”
“We need to start moving forward,” said Miller. “I know that as a county, we can do this. We can move ahead … and do it in a safe manner.”