What the 'green' phase means

Ben Destefan
Most of Pennsylvania -- including Franklin County -- is now in the 'green' phase of COVID-19 reopening plan.

Franklin County entered the “green” phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening structure for Pennsylvania on Friday, June 19.

The green phase is considered the “new normal” according to the governor’s process, and eases most restrictions in the stop-light colored plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Franklin County moved to the “yellow” phase on May 29, which still featured certain work and social restrictions. Although given the green light, residents and businesses will still be asked to follow safety guidelines implemented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health.

According to the reopening process on the governor’s website, the green phase “eases most restrictions with the continued suspension of the stay-at-home and business-closure orders to allow the economy to strategically reopen while continuing to prioritize public health.”

The description continues, “While this phase will facilitate a return to a ‘new normal,’ it will be equally important to continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.”

Guidance for counties in the green phase, as outlined by the governor’s process, includes:

n Workplace and congregate setting restrictions

Continued telework strongly encouraged

Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements

All businesses operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75% occupancy

Child care may open complying with guidance

Congregate care restrictions in place

Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities

Schools subject to CDC and commonwealth guidance

n Social restrictions

Large recreational gatherings remain restricted. Any gathering greater than 250 individuals is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, a concert, festival, fair, conference, sporting event, movie showing, or theater performance

Masks required when entering a business

Restaurants and bars open at 50% occupancy

Personal care services such as hair salons and barbershops open at 50% occupancy and by appointment only

Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services such as gyms and spas open at 50% occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged

Casinos, theaters, and shopping malls open at 50% occupancy

Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocols

As of June 19, 54 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania have been designated green.