TIMELINE: 17 counties moving to green phase on May 29, Gov. Wolf says

21 new cases in Allegheny Co., 2 additional deaths

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Allegheny Co. executive believes southwestern Pa. counties could be next to move to green

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said during a press conference Friday that he believes most of southwestern Pa. could be the next group of counties to move into the green phase.

This came after Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that 17 counties -- mostly in northern Pa. -- will transition to green on May 29.

Fitzgerald said county leaders anticipate Wolf to allow many southwestern Pa. counties, including Allegheny, to move to green the next wee -- which would be June 5.

“Hopefully, I think next Friday, we would anticipate that if we see the numbers continue to be where they are, that the southwestern part -- in particular, Allegheny County -- would move into the green phase as well," Fitzgerald said.

17 counties moving to green phase on May 29

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: At a news conference Friday, Gov. Wolf said since May 8, the daily amount of lab tests has dramatically increased. He said Pennsylvania is seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases compared to many other states. He said the ability to identify and isolate cases has also increased.

On Friday May 29, 57 counties will be in the yellow phase of his reopening plan. He said he anticipates the rest of the state be moved into yellow by early June.

17 counties will also move into the green phase on Friday, May 29: Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.

Guidelines for counties in the green phase has not yet been released by state officials. However, restaurants and bars will be allowed to have dine-in service but with limited capacity. CDC guidelines must continue to be followed.

President Trump declares places of worship as essential

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: During a news conference from the White House Friday afternoon, President Trump declared that houses of worship are essential and should be reopened immediately.

During his short statement, Trump demanded that governors act immediately and said “If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

The president said CDC guidelines would be released detailing how this is to happen.

Friday’s numbers from the state

UPDATE 12:00 p.m.: The state Department of Health reports an increase of 886 positive cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania. That brings the statewide number to 66,258 positive cases.

There are 4,984 total deaths attributed to COVID-19. 312,743 people have tested negative so far. In nursing and personal care homes, there are 14,291 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,377 cases among employees, for a total of 16,668 at 578 distinct facilities in 44 counties. Out of our total deaths, 3,275 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

Here is a local breakdown:

  • Allegheny Co.: 1,739 positive cases, 25,517 negative cases
  • Armstrong Co.: 58 positive cases, 1,099 negative cases
  • Beaver Co.: 550 positive cases, 3,122 negative cases
  • Butler Co.: 209 positive cases, 3,325 negative cases
  • Clarion Co.: 25 positive cases, 628 negative cases
  • Fayette Co.: 93 positive cases, 2,797 negative cases
  • Forest Co.: 7 positive cases, 63 negative cases
  • Greene Co.: 27 positive cases, 688 negative cases
  • Indiana Co.: 89 positive cases, 1,103 negative cases
  • Lawrence Co.: 73 positive cases, 1,115 negative cases
  • Mercer Co.: 102 positive cases, 1,303 negative cases
  • Venango Co.: 8 positive cases, 448 negative cases
  • Washington Co.: 134 positive cases, 3,713 negative cases
  • Westmoreland Co.: 436 positive cases, 8,001 negative cases

There are 3,550 positive cases of coronavirus across the 14 county region.

PA reports 15.1% unemployment in April

UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: Officials with the Department of Labor and Industry report the state’s unemployment rate was up 9.3 percentage points in April, bringing the rate to 15.1%. That’s above the national rate of 14.7%

The state’s nonfarm jobs total rose to 5,014,200 in April. The industry with the largest decline was leisure and hospitality.

COVID-19 update from the Allegheny County Health Department for Friday

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.: The Allegheny County Health Department reported since March 14, there are now 1,739 cases as of Friday. That’s an increase of 21 coronavirus cases over Thursday. This breaks down to 1,641 positive confirmed cases and 98 probable cases.

After a week of Allegheny County being in the “yellow” phase, since last Friday there have been 157 new cases reported and 5 more deaths.

Here is a breakdown of cases by age group:

  • 0-4 years: 9 (less than 1%)
  • 5-12 years: 8 (less than 1%)
  • 13-18 years: 1 (1%)
  • 19-24 years: 111 (6%)
  • 25-49 years: 580 (33%)
  • 50-64 years: 473 (27%)
  • 65+ years: 539 (31%)

There are 314 past or present hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

There are two additional deaths reported Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 146. Of the reported deaths, 135 are confirmed or had a positive test and 11 are probable.

Gov. Wolf to announce additional counties moving to a different phase of reopening plan at 4 p.m.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield will provide an update and efforts to mitigate the virus in Pennsylvania at 4 p.m.

They will announce additional counties moving to a different phase of the commonwealth’s reopening plan.

Gov. Wolf modifies executive order on foreclosure & eviction suspensions

UPDATE 9:45 am: Gov. Tom Wolf amended his executive order Friday protecting Pennsylvanians from foreclosure and eviction to specify that the order only applies to evictions and foreclosures enacted due to lack of payment or because a tenant has overstayed a lease.

“I am protecting housing for Pennsylvanians who may be facing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Wolf. “My order will not affect proceedings for other issues, such as property damage or illegal activity. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to continue abiding by the terms of their lease or mortgage.”

The executive order was signed by Gov. Wolf on May 7, and it suspended evictions and foreclosures until July 10, 2020.

During the suspensions, residents are required to continue making rent or mortgage payments or they may be subjected to past due balances and fees.

Macy’s welcomes customers back to 8 store locations in Pittsburgh-area

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: The stores at the following locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will also offer contact-free curbside pickup.

Available In-Store Shopping, Curbside Delivery and In-Store Pick-up:

  • Macy’s Galleria At Pittsburgh Mills
  • Macy’s Monroeville
  • Macy’s Ross Park
  • Macy’s South Hills Village
  • Macy’s The Mall At Robinson
  • Macy’s Westmoreland

Available In-Store Shopping:

  • Macy’s Ross Park Furniture
  • Macy’s South Hills Furniture

You can get more information about the changes the store has made HERE.

Macy’s welcomes customers back to 8 store locations in Pittsburgh-area

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania: Friday morning

UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: As of Thursday, Pennsylvania had 65,392 cases of the coronavirus and 4,869 deaths statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There have been 303,514 people who tested negative for the virus.

In Allegheny County, there are 1,718 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases and 144 deaths. Locally there are 3,506 cases in western Pennsylvania.

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As the last western Pennsylvania county prepares to move into the “yellow” phase Friday, Governor Wolf could also be making a significant announcement about some counties that are already in that phase.

According to our partners at the Pittsburgh Business Times, the governor said during a media call on Thursday, “I’ll be announcing a whole range of counties tomorrow moving from red to yellow. The hope is that we’ll also be making some counties that might even be moving from yellow to green tomorrow.”

Gov. Wolf “hopes" some counties may soon be moving from yellow to green

Wolf didn’t name specific counties, but the first to move into the yellow phase from the red were in the north-central and northwestern part of the state, including Lawrence and Mercer counties, back on May 8.

Blood supply at critical levels, Vitalant asking for donations