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16 more Pa. counties going green next Friday, Gov. Wolf says

Gov. Tom Wolf announced a number of counties that will transition into the green phase starting next Friday.

16 counties in western and central Pennsylvania, including much of the Pittsburgh area, will move into the green phase: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Lawrence County, Clarion County, Forest County and Venango County are already in the green phase.

Westmoreland County leaders told Channel 11 that they expected their county to be on the list announced by Gov. Tom Wolf later Friday. Channel 11′s Amy Marcinkiewicz also learned that Butler County leaders expected to transition into the green phase on June 5.

>>RELATED STORY: Reopening Pennsylvania: What the red, yellow and green phases mean

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was hopeful his county could be on that list.

“My sense is we would probably get the designation to go into green a week later (next Friday),” he said.

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In the green phase, hair and nail salons in those counties can reopen their doors, and gyms would be able to welcome back clients.

The green phase also means restaurants can allow families to dine in or be seated outside -- with proper social distancing and other health guidelines followed. Gatherings will be allowed with up to 250 people. Visitations to hospitals and prisons will be allowed at the discretion of the facility.

There were 70,735 people in Pennsylvania who had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday morning. 5,464 people had died from the coronavirus, according to Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

She said statewide, health officials have estimated 64% of people had recovered from the virus.

Gov. Wolf’s office reported he signed the General Fund budget, which offers $420 million to help nursing homes, $50 million to help with food insecurity and $225 million for small business grants as the state starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdown.

During a news conference Friday, Wolf also said he was confident schools would be back in session by the fall.

“You will probably have more online learning, and maybe less classroom learning. You may have fewer students in classrooms, that kind of thing. So it will probably look different and the Department of Education is working on those guidelines,” Wolf said.

He said he plans to put those guidelines out by next week.

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