Bartolotta: More Progress Needed on Safely Reopening Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today regarding Governor Wolf’s announcement that Washington and Greene counties will be moved to the yellow phase of reopening on May 15:

“Today’s announcement certainly does not solve the severe problems that are hurting many local communities, but I am thankful that Governor Wolf appears to be listening and moving in a more positive direction. I sent the governor a letter earlier this week to encourage this move, and I am hopeful that he continues to listen to the advice of lawmakers and allows more businesses to open safely as soon as possible. For the sake of the millions of Pennsylvanians who are not collecting a paycheck right now, we cannot delay any longer.

“While I am encouraged that Washington and Greene counties are moving to the yellow phase, it is still extremely frustrating that Beaver County remains in the red. COVID-19 cases in that county are predominately isolated to a single nursing home, so our case count does not create a substantial risk of widespread infection for the community. Just this past week, the Senate held a hearing in which experts detailed the Wolf Administration’s failure to protect nursing home residents and staff. It is egregious that our local employers and employees are now being penalized for the failure of the Department of Health to properly prioritize these facilities.

“Our plans to reopen Pennsylvania must evolve. We cannot remain shackled to a plan that still excludes entire swaths of the local economy that could function safely with the guidance of national experts. I strongly urge the governor to join us in charting a better path forward that allows more Pennsylvanians to get back to work safely and responsibly. We do not have to choose between protecting lives and livelihoods. Those two goals are not mutually exclusive; we can and should do both.” 

CONTACT:   Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463