May 4-8 Explained: Reopening 24 Counties, The Adaptation Of Manufacturers & Betting On Ping Pong

May 8, 2020

Twenty-four northwestern and north-central Pennsylvania counties move into the "yellow" phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan Friday. Businesses will begin to flip their "closed" signs to "open," all while taking precautionary health and safety measures. 

The Wolf administration has cautioned that just because an area is moved into the yellow phase doesn't necessarily mean green will follow. If there's another outbreak of COVID-19, restrictions could be put back in place.

Helping explain the headlines this week:

Some Pennsylvania sports fans have found entertainment in obscure athletic events, and are even betting on them. The latest craze? Competitive table tennis. The online gambling doesn't make up for the financial losses caused by the closure of casinos, but it's a little revenue for the state.

Meanwhile, many manufacturers are considered essential businesses and are exempt from Wolf’s shutdown order. Some now find themselves with almost too many orders, while others don't have nearly enough. But almost all are facing unexpected challenges from the coronavirus.

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