Indiana County is not among the 24 counties that will be permitted to reopen on May 8.
The counties that can move from a red to yellow designation starting at 12:01 a.m. that day are all in northern Pennsylvania.
The 24 counties are Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren.
Indiana County has not had a new positive case of coronavirus in three days. The total number stands at 63 with four deaths.
“Over the past two months, Pennsylvanians in every corner of our commonwealth have acted collectively to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said. “We have seen our new case numbers stabilize statewide and while we still have areas where outbreaks are occurring, we also have many areas that have few or no new cases.”
These counties were deemed ready to move to a reopening — or yellow phase — because of low per-capita case counts, the ability to conduct contact tracing and testing, and appropriate population density to contain community spread, Wolf’s office said.
The metrics were considered along with the county’s or region’s ability to conduct testing and contact-tracing to first and foremost maintain robust public health, according to Wolf.
The Department of Health developed testing and contact-tracing plans that informed today’s decisions and will be used in making decisions moving forward. Factors include: having enough testing available for individuals with symptoms and target populations such as those at high risk, health care personnel, and first responders, and the ability to perform robust case investigation and have in place a contact-tracing infrastructure that can quickly identify a cluster of outbreaks to issue any necessary isolation and quarantine orders.
All reopening decisions follow the six standards outlined in the governor’s plan to reopen Pennsylvania. These include adhering to:
• Data-driven and quantifiable criteria to drive a targeted, evidence-based, regional approach to reopening.
• Clear guidance and recommendations for employers, individuals, and health care facilities and providers for assured accountability.
• Adequate and available personal protective equipment and diagnostic testing.
• A monitoring and surveillance program that allows the commonwealth to deploy swift actions for containment or mitigation.
• Protections for vulnerable populations such as limitations on visitors to congregate care facilities and prisons.
• Limitations on large gatherings unrelated to occupations.