Election 2020-Pennsylvania

File photo: Gov. Tom Wolf.

Editor's note: This article was originally published April 23. On May 22 and May 27 Gov. Tom Wolf announced new guidelines for the phases. This story has been updated to show these changes. 

The Wolf administration announced a detailed "data-driven" plan that will categorize reopening counties and regions across Pennsylvania into three phases: red, yellow and green, according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

Each county and/or region will be assigned a phase depending on its conditions. Counties and regions will move from "red" to "yellow" and then to "green," which is the most open of the phases, though several restrictions will still be in place.

By June 5, all 67 counties in Pennsylvania will move from the "red" phase to either "yellow" or "green," Wolf announced May 22.  

Lancaster County, along with nine other counties, will move from "red" to "yellow" June 5. 

That same day, 17 counties will move to "green." 

Regions and counties become eligible to move to the "yellow" phase if they meet the target goal of an average fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 individuals over the course of 14 days is met, the Wolf administration said.

However, the metric won't be the only factor the state will look at before assigning a region or county a new phase and beginning to reopen, Dr. Rachel Levine said in an update April 23. 

Levine said other factors like accessibility to tests and contact tracing will be used as well.

"The administration will work closely with county and local governments to enable the communities to reopen and transition back to work," the release said.

Click here to read more about what it take for a county to move to yellow. 

To reach the "green" phase, a county in "yellow" will be closely monitored for "increased risk." 

"If overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, we will transition the county to the green phase," Wolf's plan for Pennsylvania said. 

Here are the restrictions for each phase:


Restrictions for work and public:

- Only life-sustaining businesses may operate

- Long-term living care facilities and prison restrictions in place

- Schools (for in-person instruction) and most child care facilities closed

Social Restrictions:

- Stay-at-home order in place

- Large gatherings prohibited

- Restaurants and bars limited to carry-out and delivery only

- Only travel for life-sustaining purposes is encouraged

Under the red phase, orders and restrictions can be adjusted as necessary. Safety guidance for businesses, workers, individuals and facilities will also be updated as needed.


Restrictions for work and public:

- Where possible, working from home will continue

- Businesses with in-person operations must continue to follow business and building safety orders previously implemented by Wolf

- Child care may open, but must "(comply) with guidance"

- Long-term living facilities and prison restrictions in place

- Schools will remain closed

Social Restrictions:

- Stay-at-home restrictions will be lifted but "aggressive mitigation" will still be used

- Large gatherings of more than 25 will be prohibited

- While in-person retail will be allowed, curbside and delivery options will be favored

- Gyms, spas, casinos and theaters will remain closed

- Restaurants and bars will continue to be limited to carry-out and delivery, but may add outdoor dining

All businesses must follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health's guidance for social distancing and cleaning.

Orders and restrictions will be changed as necessary.


Restrictions for work and public:

- All businesses operating in the yellow phase at 50% capacity may increase to 75%

- All operating businesses must follow business and building safety requirements

- Working from home will continue where possible

- Child care may open with guidance

- Congregate care restrictions in place

- Schools subject to the guidance of Pennsylvania and the CDC

Social Restrictions:

- Large gatherings will remain restricted 

- Restaurants and bars may open with 50% occupancy 

- Hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services will open at 50% occupancy and by appointment-only 

- Gyms, spas and other indoor recreation and wellness facilities may open at 50% occupancy and appointments strongly encouraged

- Casinos, theaters, shopping malls and other entertainment centers may open at 50% occupancy 

- Construction will continue with safety measures in place

What to Read Next