Gov. Tom Wolf tonight has made it official, signing an order that moves Dauphin County into the “yellow” phase at midnight.
In a statement, the governor’s press office said that both he and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine signed the order that shifts eight more counties into the less-restrictive yellow phase. They are Dauphin, Lebanon, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Schuylkill counties.
These counties join 49 other Pennsylvania counties that previously moved into the yellow phase. This now includes all counties in the Harrisburg area except Lancaster County.
The yellow phase relaxes the state’s strict “stay-at-home” order and the forced closing of the physical locations of “non life-sustaining” businesses, measures imposed in March due to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, it allows retail stores to reopen and for offices to reopen as long as they follow social distancing and other safety requirements.
Wolf said last week that he intended to move all remaining red-phase counties into the yellow phase by June 4, including the hard-hit Philadelphia metro area.
In addition, on Friday, much of the northwest and north-central parts of the state are slated to move from the yellow phase to the least-restrictive green phase.
The pandemic peaked in Pennsylvania in early April, quickly rising to nearly 2,000 positive diagnoses daily. The new-case rate has been slowly falling since and has been generally in the 500 to 1,000-case range for more than two weeks.