HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Governor Wolf announced on Saturday a data-driven model will be used to reopen parts of Pennsylvania.
Starting May 8, the state government will be assessing whether or not to lower restrictions for certain municipalities. In order for restrictions to be lowered, counties must meet specific metrics for coronavirus cases and testing.
The target goal will be based on case data over a two week period, officials say. According to the new guidelines, there must be fewer than 50 new confirmed cases per population of 100,000 people. The government cited an example that if there were 800,000 people in a given area, there could be no more than 400 new cases reported in the last two weeks in order for the government to consider lifting restrictions in that area.
Here’s a mock example of how we’ll determine target goals for reopening have been met.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) April 25, 2020
A commonwealth must also ensure that enough tests are available for not only those with symptoms but for essential workers, proper identification of at-risk areas and case clusters for early action is in use and adequate safeguards like PPE and screenings are in place. The press release also stated that it will be following a model from Carnegie Mellon University to monitor the gradual reopening process.
“A public health crisis necessitates that the administration make the best decision with the information that we have at that point in time, and we will continue to refine our approach,” the press release said. “If indicators and criteria point to a spike in cases, the commonwealth, in coordination with local officials, will need to adjust orders and restrictions to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.”
The data-driven model will still follow Governor Wolf’s color-coded reopening plan set to take effect May 8.