ALLEGHENY CO. Pa. (KDKA) — It has now been four consecutive days of increases in coronavirus cases in Allegheny County.
With each day, the county creeps closer to returning to the coronavirus “yellow” phase and seeing businesses forced to shut down again.
At Deluca’s Restaurant in the Strip District, the employees have just gotten back to work and customers are now sitting at the tables again.
Rebecca Tambellini says they are only making about half the revenue as they were before the coronavirus shutdown.
“I think we’re doing fairly well for the situation we’re in,” Tambellini said.
And the idea of returning to the “yellow” phase?
“It would be really hard to have to close a second time. We lost employees after the first time and we lost customers who just don’t feel safe coming in,” Tambellini said.
“People stopped caring once we got to the ‘green’ phase so it makes sense to me,” Shantel Segers said.
The only thing that surprises Ramar Burnett, who lives on the North Side, is that anyone is surprised.
“I don’t see the point of opening up to a ‘green’ phase, what did you think was going to happen? Everybody was going to get around each other and catch it anyway. We should have stayed on the ‘red’ phase,” Burnett said.
Gov. Tom Wolf says while the public’s precautions have flattened the curve, “it’s still a very contagious infectious disease.”
The difference between now and March, Wolf says, is the medical system’s ability to handle it, “with capacity in the health care system with the expanded ability to test.”
So what would constitute the need to return to the “yellow” phase?
“I don’t know that it’s really been defined anywhere,” says Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald says people need to double-down on wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing and social distancing.
And if you’ve traveled to a hotspot, self-isolate. Something Fitzgerald says is on the honor system.
If the current trend of infections continues Fitzgerald says, “My sense is they are not going to be shutting things down totally like we had in March, April and early May. But I think you could see some closings or at least restricting things a little bit.”
That is something no one wants, including Governor Wolf.
“I can tell you we are doing everything we can to avoid that happening,” Wolf said.