PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Leaders in southwestern Pennsylvania are confident their counties will be among the next to move into Gov. Tom Wolf’s “green” phase of reopening.
The governor could announce more counties moving into the “yellow” and “green” phases on Friday.
WATCH: KDKA’s Lisa Washington Reports On Counties Hoping To Be Moved To The Green Phase Of Reopening:
Eighteen counties will be the first to move into the “green” phase on Friday at 12:01 a.m.
Those counties were in the “yellow” phase for two weeks and avoided a severe spike in coronavirus cases.
Leslie Osche, chairman of the Butler County Commissioners, is optimistic her county will be next in line.
“We know we’re ready,” said Osche. “We believe the region is ready.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website, 226 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Butler County.
“It’s been a great working team effort to get our plan together so that we can position our county to move forward, and everybody can get on with their lives,” said Kim Geyer, vice chairman of the Butler County Commissioners.
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The commissioners say they submitted a plan to Governor Wolf on Thursday to increase testing in Butler Health System labs.
“Not only get this to move forward today but make sure that this process is better in the future,” Osche said.
Numbers have also remained low in Rep. Pam Snyder’s 50th District, which includes Greene County and parts of Fayette and Washington counties.
“We have been so steady all through this, and I’m very thankful for that,” Snyder said.
In Greene County, 27 people have tested positive for coronavirus, while 95 and 139 people have tested positive in Fayette and Washington counties, respectively.
Snyder was vocal on social media last Friday, believing her district should have been part of the first group of counties to move into the “green” phase.
“I’m just anxiously awaiting the governor’s announcement tomorrow,” she said. “I just really hope that we can continue to move forward and that we all can stay safe and healthy.”
Governor Wolf released updated guidelines for the “green” phase on Wednesday.
Businesses closed in “red” and “yellow” phases may reopen at reduced occupancy.
Personal services like hair salons may open and take clients by appointment only, while gatherings up to 250 people are allowed.
In “green” counties, people are still expected to follow CDC guidelines, wear masks in public and practice social distancing.