Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he doesn’t want to rush the process of reopening the state’s economy and has not set any timetable as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
“I think we ought to stay the course right now. This is hard, it is devastating the economy, no question. But letting this virus overwhelm the healthcare system and the ability of Pennsylvania to resist it would be even worse for the economy,” Wolf said.
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Wolf said one major setback is a lack of testing and being able to figure out who has the coronavirus.
Wolf’s comments on reopening the state’s economy came on the same day President Donald Trump gave governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out a phased approach to restoring normal activity.
“We're not opening all at once. One careful step at time,” Trump said.
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The multi-phased plan introduced by Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force is called “Opening Up America Again.” It includes the following steps, each of which should stay in place for 14 days without any setbacks:
- PHASE 1: Continued strong social distancing with no more than 10 people in a gathering. No non-essential travel.
- PHASE 2: Social distancing still encouraged, but gatherings can be upward to 50 people. Travel can resume.
- PHASE 3: Focus on identifying and stopping any new infections while protecting the most at risk.
“If you want to call it the new normal, call it whatever you want, but even if you are in phase one, two three … it’s not, ‘OK, game over.’ It’s not,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
Trump is suggesting states have a sustained decrease in COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period before starting to reopen. He also wants people to wear a face mask and continue social distancing.