Gov. Tom Wolf during briefing 051120

Gov. Tom Wolf issues a statement calling counties that have self-declared their reopening -- not abiding by the governor's plan -- a "cowardly act" on Monday, May 11, 2020. 

Lebanon County was the first to go against Gov. Tom Wolf's COVID-19 phasing plans when county commissioners said last week they planned to reopen the county without the governor's blessing. Other counties soon followed, including Lancaster. 

But Lebanon County Commission Chairman Robert Phillips said he's second-guessing the decision following Wolf's Monday press briefing. 

In an interview with PennLive, Phillips said Lebanon County was between a rock and a hard place. 

“Saving face or saving the funding, that’s where we are,” Phillips told PennLive. 

As of Tuesday, Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster and York counties, along with Lebanon, have said they plan to reopen before Wolf grants them the "yellow phase."

To move from the "red phase" into the "yellow phase," in accordance with Gov. Wolf's plan, a county has to have 50 COVID-19 cases or fewer per 100,000 residents in a two-week period. 

Cumberland County commissioners previously said they would look at their legal options for reopening, but ultimately determined the move "has no legal basis, and would not stand up, and could actually endanger the business licenses of those who defy the state of emergency declaration.”

York County is nearing that threshold for the last two weeks in April, according to the Department of Health. 

During a Facebook Live on Monday, York County Commissioners Chair Julie Wheeler told constituents the board is not acting on moving to the "yellow phase," the board is just lobbying for it. 

The Perry County Sheriff's Office also posted on social media last week that it would not be enforcing "'order" that violates our constitutional right." 

But PennLive reported that Perry County commissioners said Monday they are sticking with Gov. Wolf's phased-in plan. 

Lancaster County, however, is holding strong on its plan to ignore the governor's plan, mainly because the county isn't worried about missing out on federal money.

What makes Lancaster County unique is it already received $95 million from the coronavirus relief bill. The money came straight from Washington because of the county's large population. 

In a thread of tweets on Tuesday morning, Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parsons -- one of the 13 officials that signed the letter to Gov. Wolf -- called the governor part of an "elite class." 

"He is the enlightened, elite ruling class. We are the working class," Parsons said in one of four tweets in response to Gov. Wolf calling the county's self-declared move to the "yellow phase" a "cowardly act." 

"Lets all hope the Governor can get out of his bubble and meet some regular Pennsylvanians," the thread of tweets continued. "He might even find he likes us."


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