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Yellow Journalism: What To Expect When SWPA Coronavirus Restrictions Are Eased

Livestream Press Conference

As expected, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday afternoon that Allegheny County and much of the surrounding region – with the conspicuous exception of Beaver County – will be moved from “red” to “yellow” status effective Friday, May 15.  But in making the announcement Wolf warned, “Residents should be mindful that yellow still means caution.” While restrictions will be eased, they will not be removed. And a spike in cases could mean a return to stricter limits.

Here's a look at some of the changes you can expect next week -- and some changes you will still have to wait for until your community is moved to the "green" phase

Some things that WILL change

  • In-person shopping is permitted at many retailers, including car dealerships and others not previously deemed life-sustaining. Curbside pick-up and delivery are still preferred, and indoor malls are not permitted to open: Stores in those malls must have their own entrances and exits. Mask-wearing is still required, and there may be changes to hours and the number of customers allowed inside to ensure social distancing.
  • Businesses previously deemed non-life-sustaining may reopen. Telework is still required for employees who can work remotely, workers must wear masks and employers must follow guidance on cleaning workplaces and screening employees for the disease.
  • The stay-at-home order is lifted: Travel is permitted for non-life-sustaining purposes, and group gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted
  • Child-care centers can reopen, if they comply with state guidance
  • Real-estate activity may resume

Some things that WON’T Change:

  • Bars and restaurants are still limited to carry-out and delivery only
  • Indoor entertainment venues like theaters, museums, bowling allies, trampoline facilities and arcades, as well as casinos remain closed
  • Salons, barbershops, spas, fitness centers/gyms and other indoor health/wellness facilities remain closed
  • Some outdoor entertainment facilities, like zoos and playgrounds remain closed. Amateur and club team sports are still restricted. Professional sports are still barred, and the Pittsburgh Pirates won't be playing either. 
  • Visiting restrictions remain for nursing homes and other congregate care facilities, including jails and prisons
  • Schools remain closed