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April 20-24 Explained: Reopening PA, Testing Unknowns, Unemployment Fiasco & Restaurants Struggle

Matt Rourke
A person wearing a protective mask walks down Market Street in Philadelphia, Monday, April 13, 2020.


In two weeks, Pennsylvania’s economy will see a gradual reopening. Gov. Tom Wolf set May 8 as the target date for certain regions of the commonwealth to begin easing social distancing measures.

There will be three phases in the reopening process: red, yellow and green. Currently the state is operating in red phase, with only life-sustaining businesses operating. The administration says it will focus on north-central and north-west regions of the state where case counts of COVID-19 have been lower.

The yellow phase allows childcare facilities and some retailers to reopen in those areas, but K-12 schools and entertainment spaces will remain closed. 


Under the green phase, most businesses will be open, but large gatherings will still be prohibited. 

Helping explain the headlines this week:


As social distancing continues into the foreseeable future for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania, one possible glimmer of hope emerged this week: The City of Pittsburgh is now accepting applications for lifeguards. There is no set date for pools to open, but the city wants to be ready if they're allowed to open this summer.


 Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and Spotify.


Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.
Liz Reid oversees newsroom operations at WESA. She began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor. You can reach her at