Bucks County residents are holding their breath Friday morning, waiting to see if Governor Wolf will announce whether the county can reopen.
If Wolf gives Bucks the green light, it would join 49 other counties throughout the commonwealth in the “yellow phase” of the state’s reopen plan. Wolf will give an answer, one way or the other, sometime Friday afternoon.
The stay-at-home order for Bucks is set to expire on June 4. But the governor has the authority to extend the order if he chooses, as he has previously.
Currently, Bucks County does not meet the Wolf Administration’s standards for reopening. Bucks would need to see less than 22 new cases per day to meet the criteria laid out in Wolf’s plan.
County health officials reported 51 new cases of Coronavirus Thursday. This brings the total to 4,536.
Sixteen of these new positives are the result of household contacts. This means they contracted the virus from someone they live with. Another fifteen are residents at long term care facilities. But only three are the result of community spread.
Based on the lack of community spread, Bucks Director of Health Dr. David Damsker believes Bucks is ready to move to the yellow phase.
“Based on our extensive data collection, I believe that Bucks County is ready to move to the yellow phase,” said Damsker Wednesday. “We hope that Gov. Wolf and Health Secretary Levine also see it the same way very soon.”
The Bucks County Commissioners spoke directly with Wolf earlier this month. They requested a reopen date earlier than June 4, though the governor declined to make an exception.
Instead, a spokesperson for the Wolf Administration later told the Commissioners Bucks was “rapidly moving” toward reopening. The spokesperson did not give exact details.