KITTANNING, Pa. (KDKA) – The Armstrong County DA says citations won’t be issued to businesses that reopen, even if they’re ordered to stay closed in the “yellow” phase of Gov. Wolf’s plan.
In the “yellow” phase of Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan, indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, personal care services and entertainment businesses must remained close. That means salons, gyms, casinos and theaters are closed, and restaurants and bars are limited to carry-out and delivery.
While Armstrong County was given the go-ahead to have its stay-at-home order lifted May 15 in favor of “aggressive mitigation,” the DA says it’s unfair some businesses are still required to be closed.
“This afternoon, I informed Armstrong County law enforcement that citations should not be issued to individuals or businesses that may not follow Governor Wolf’s executive order. Despite the move to yellow, I believe the data which has been made public does not support an executive order mandating certain businesses remain closed, while criminalizing others should they choose to open,” the DA’s office said in a letter.
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The letter goes on to read: “My intent is not to invite individuals to completely ignore the precautions required at this time to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 and business should not be conducted as it was prior to the pandemic.”
Instead, the DA says social distancing should continue to be practiced and CDC guidelines should be followed.
“However, absent circumstances where criminal charges would otherwise be warranted, the Armstrong County District Attorney will not prosecute alleged violations of Gov. Wolf’s order,” the DA’s office says.