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May 11-15 Explained: Daycares Reopen, Counties Defy Wolf & Some Pennsylvanians Face A Dire Choice

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Painted feet indicating social distancing are outside Bella Notte Pizza in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

Allegheny County and 12 other Southwestern Pennsylvania counties have entered the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.

Daycares are allowed to reopen, as are many retail establishments and churches. Gatherings of less than 25 people are permitted, but individuals are still expected to socially distance and wear masks; restaurants are closed to dine-in customers; and gyms, movie theaters and casinos are all still shuttered.

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning wants childcare providers to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. The CDC recommends limiting the number of children in each classroom and requiring children over two-years-old to wear a mask

Helping explain the headlines this week:

Elected leaders in several Pennsylvania counties say some businesses are free to reopen on Friday, May 15 — with or without the governor’s support. The move is leading to some controversy and prompted Wolf to announce potential consequences of defying his stay-at-home order.

And as counties turn yellow, some Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions face a dire choice: risk their jobs, or risk their health.

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