How Long Until Philadelphia Fully Reopens?
Ryan Zavodnick | June 18, 2020 | News
Even though Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a joint resolution calling for the end of the state’s COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration, the declaration still stands at this time. Governor Wolf said he has no plans to remove the emergency disaster declaration. A court may decide.
So, for the present time, the state continues to reopen according to the detailed Process to Reopen Pennsylvania.
What is the Present Status of Philadelphia in the Reopening Process?
There are three phases for reopening the state after COVID-19.
The red phase includes strict social distancing requirements, school closures, and strict business closures. Only life-sustaining businesses are permitted to remain open during the red phase.
The yellow phase eases some of the restrictions on social interaction. Philadelphia is currently in the yellow phase. What does that mean for residents and businesses in Philadelphia?
During the yellow phase of reopening:
- If possible, individuals should continue telework.
- Businesses allowed to reopen must follow business and building safety orders.
- Daycares and childcare facilities may reopen with guidelines.
- In-person retail is permitted, but people are still encouraged to use delivery and curbside pickup.
- Close contact and personal service businesses, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, and gyms remain closed.
All businesses must continue to follow the DOH and CDC guidelines for social distancing.
Individuals continue to have several social restrictions during the yellow phase. Gatherings of 25 or more people are prohibited. Masks are required when entering a business.
As of June 5, 2020, bars and restaurants may offer outdoor dining options. For many Philadelphia residents, the ability to dine outdoors at their favorite restaurants is a vast improvement.
If public health indicators reveal a surge in new cases, the restrictions and orders could be modified, as necessary.
What is Pennsylvania’s Approach to Reopening?
It is unknown how long it could take Philadelphia to fully reopen. The state is following six standards for its phased reopening.
Those six standards are:
- Plans to reopen after COVID-19 are data-driven. The state uses a regional approach for reopening. Therefore, the data in each area dictates the progress through each phase of reopening.
- The state continues to provide recommendations and guidance for assuring accountability.
- There must be an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and diagnostic testing.
- There must be adequate monitoring and surveillance to allow for swift actions to contain outbreaks.
- Vulnerable populations must remain protected throughout the reopening process.
- Restrictions continue on large gatherings of social groups.
According to the information provided by the Governor’s office, the purpose of the yellow phase is to “power back up the economy” while taking steps to contain the spread of the virus.
Philadelphia could transition into the green phase within two weeks of entering the yellow phase. The state monitors the data from the area closely. If the spread of the virus remains mitigated for at least 14 days, Philadelphia could move to green.
In the green phase, there are still social restrictions and business restrictions. However, a higher number of businesses reopen, and social restrictions are reduced to a much lower level.
How Can You Continue to Protect Yourself From COVID-19?
The coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States. Each day, additional new cases are identified and more people die from the disease. We have not gotten rid of COVID-19.
Therefore, it is essential to continue to take steps to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Following CDC guidelines and social restrictions for your area are the best ways to protect against COVID-19.
Steps you can take include:
- Continue to work from home, if possible.
- Keep your hands clean. Use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol when you do not have water or soap available.
- Do not touch your face, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect and clean areas frequently, especially areas and objects that are touched frequently.
- Practice social distancing whenever you leave home.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Call your doctor immediately if you experience coronavirus symptoms.
- Follow instructions for wearing face masks in public.
If we all work together, we can get through this challenging and trying period.
What if I Contract COVID-19 at Work?
If you become infected with COVID-19 while doing your job, you may benefit from talking with a workers’ compensation attorney. It is possible that you may have a cause of action under state workers’ compensation laws.
While the process of filing injury claims may be slightly different because of the various restrictions on companies and courts, local lawyers are carefully monitoring these issues to help provide the best, most up-to-date information possible.