Pandemic Restrictions to be Eased in Beaver County Next Week
The county is the only one in southwestern Pennsylvania that did not move from the “red” to “yellow” reopening phase on May 15.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Beaver County will join the list of counties moving from the “red” to the “yellow” phase on Friday, May 22. Beaver joins 11 other counties that will see an easing of restrictions next week: Adams, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne and York. At the end of next week, more than 40% of the state’s population will be in the “yellow” phase.
Today’s announcement comes a week after Wolf lifted the strongest pandemic restrictions on Allegheny, Westmoreland, Greene, Butler, Armstrong and Fayette counties and seven others, beginning today.
“Through our social distancing efforts, we have not only reversed a trajectory of exponential new case growth – we have cut it in half,” Gov. Wolf said. “And some of the counties that will be shifting into the yellow phase next week eliminated concerns that we had just two weeks ago. So please, keep up your efforts in the fight so we can continue to add counties to the list of those in the yellow phase. Thank you again for your patience and your hard work.”
Beaver county officials were sharply critical of Wolf’s exclusion of their county a week ago.
“We have been singled out because of one isolated nursing home outbreak the Pennsylvania Department of Health utterly failed to assist immediately,” County Commissioner Daniel Camp told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He called the governor’s decision “irrational” and a form of “economic punishment.”
The Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, located in Beaver County, has been a hotspot for COVID-19. More than 260 cases of the virus have been confirmed there. The exact number of death has not been released, but 75 of Beaver County’s 82 COVID-19 deaths came from nursing homes or personal care facilities, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.