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Lebanon County is now officially in the “yellow phase” of Gov. Tom Wolf’s framework to reopen Pennsylvania businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
As detailed in the Plan for Pennsylvania, the governor’s three-tiered red-yellow-green phased reopening plan, in the yellow phase, the state’s stay at home order is lifted and gatherings of up to 25 people may be held. Telework must continue where feasible, however, and restaurants are to remain limited to carry-out and delivery service until June 5, when outdoor dining may be added. Retail outlets are allowed to operate during this phase as well, although curbside and delivery service are encouraged as an alternative to in-person sales. A number of additional sectors are to remain closed through this period, including schools, gyms, salons, theaters, and casinos.
Gov. Wolf has said that after a county transitions to the yellow phase, if overall risk “remains mitigated” for two weeks, the county will be transitioned to the green phase. During the green phase, schools may reopen and most businesses, including bars and restaurants, may operate at up to 50% of occupancy. Large gatherings of more than 250 people will remain prohibited during the green phase. The first group of counties entered the green phase today: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, and Warren.
The remaining “red” counties — Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia — will move to “yellow” on June 5.
On May 15, the Lebanon County Commissioners approved a non-binding resolution shifting Lebanon County into the “yellow phase” effective Monday, May 18. In an earlier memo, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf had said that her office would not prosecute or pursue legal action against any local business that wished to reopen, so long as they complied with an April 15 order issued by Governor Tom Wolf’s administration.
The April 15 state order requires businesses to take a number of mitigation steps, including requiring all customers to wear masks unless they cannot wear one due to a medical condition.
As part of the transition to yellow, some state services will resume in-person operations in Lebanon County. The Lebanon Driver License Center will reopen to offer most license-related services, although non-commercial road testing will not be initially available. REAL ID applications and transactions are also temporarily suspended, with the timeline for needing one of these to board a flight or enter a federal building or military base having been pushed back to October, 2021.
Have you seen other changes as part of the change to yellow? Let us know using the contact form below.