May 15, 2020

Guidance for Businesses in Counties Moving to Yellow Phase

On May 15, Governor Tom Wolf announced that 12 counties in Pennsylvania will be moving to the Yellow Phase of the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania on May 22, in addition to the 37 counties that transitioned into the Yellow Phase on May 8 or May 15. With this, the Governor provided guidance on May 4 that details procedures businesses must follow to conduct in-person operations in counties operating in or slated to move to the Yellow Phase. All businesses, including nonprofits, permitted to conduct in-person operations are subject to this guidance.

Guidance for Businesses

Under the Yellow Phase of reopening, life-sustaining businesses that could not conduct either all or part of their operations via telework will continue to conduct their operations in-person, and many non-life sustaining businesses will be permitted to restart their in-person operations through the loosening of some restrictions under the stay-at-home and business closure orders.

In counties that have been designated as in the yellow phase, all businesses, except those categories specifically listed as remaining closed in the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania, are permitted to conduct in-person operations, as long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance.

The guidance includes specific information on cleaning and disinfecting premises, limiting the number of employees in common areas and customers on premises, providing masks and sanitizing supplies for employees, installing shields or other barriers at registers and checkout areas to physically separate cashiers and customers, and creating a plan in case a business is exposed to a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, among other provisions. View the full guidance.

Counties in the Yellow Phase

As of May 15 at 5 p.m., the following counties are in the Yellow Phase of reopening: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cameron, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, Wayne, and York.

Governor Wolf warned that future COVID-19 outbreaks remain possible and if an outbreak occurs, counties placed in the Yellow Phase may need to revert back to the Red Phase. Because of this, all community members and businesses should continue social distancing, practicing safe hygiene, and limiting contact with others as much as possible. For counties in the Red Phase, Governor Wolf encourages individuals to “make choices that will lead to fewer cases and a faster move to lifted restrictions.”

To learn more about what the Red Phase, Yellow Phase, and Green Phase entail, visit the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania page.

Guidance for Child Care

In the Yellow Phase, child care providers are permitted to reopen without a permit so long as they follow CDC and DHS guidance for social distancing and cleaning.

For more information, please contact the Department of Health at 1.877.724.3258.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release. Businesses that have questions about whether this guidance applies to them may contact the Department of Health at 1.877.724.3258.