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Your daily coronavirus update: As virus ebbs, Wolf touts increased testing and contact tracing

In the green phase, restaurants and bars, salons and barber shops, gyms, theaters, malls and casinos can all open at reduced capacity

  • The Associated Press
  • Staff
Traffic is backed up as people wait to get into Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle, Pa. on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

 Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Traffic is backed up as people wait to get into Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle, Pa. on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is to equip you with the information you need. Rather than chase every update, we’ll try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See all of our stories here.

What you should know
» Coronavirus facts & FAQ
» Day-by-day look at coronavirus disease cases in Pa.
» Red, yellow, green: What to expect in each of Pa.’s tiers for reopening

With 18 counties preparing to move to the least restrictive phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan, the number of new virus infections continues to fall throughout Pennsylvania and officials say they’re making strides in their ability to manage flareups.

Virus testing has increased from 50,000 in the last week of April to nearly 80,000 last week, Wolf said Tuesday. And a new contact tracing program — in which infected people are swiftly isolated and people they came into contact with are quarantined — has ramped up as well, he said.

Wolf is moving 18 counties from the “yellow” phase of his reopening plan to the “green” phase, meaning most restrictions are lifted.

After initially asking the state to remaining in yellow, commissioners in Centre County, home to Penn State University, opted Tuesday to go along with Wolf and move to green on Friday. The commissioners had cited concern about protecting poll workers during the June 2 primary.

In the green phase, restaurants and bars, salons and barber shops, gyms, theaters, malls and casinos can all open at reduced capacity, according to Wolf’s reopening plan. People will still be asked to wear masks in public and observe social distancing.

Additional details on the green phase are expected to be released this week.

In other coronavirus-related developments in Pennsylvania on Tuesday:


The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Tuesday reported 13 additional deaths linked to COVID-19, raising the statewide total to 5,152.

State health officials also reported that 451 more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Since early March, infections have been confirmed in more than 68,600 people in Pennsylvania. Health officials reported that 61% of the people who have tested positive for the virus are considered to be fully recovered, meaning it’s been more than 30 days since the date of their positive test or onset of symptoms.

Here are the latest figures in central Pennsylvania counties:

  • Adams: 233 cases, including 7 deaths
  • Berks: 3919 cases, including 296 deaths
  • Columbia: 343 cases, including 31 deaths
  • Cumberland: 602 cases, including 46 deaths
  • Dauphin: 1137 cases, including 63 deaths
  • Franklin: 746 cases, including 29 deaths
  • Juniata: 95 cases, including 4 deaths
  • Lancaster: 2985 cases, including 281 deaths
  • Lebanon: 922 cases, including 27 deaths
  • Mifflin: 58 cases, including 1 death
  • Northumberland: 177 cases, including 3 deaths
  • Perry: 48 cases, including 1 death
  • Schuylkill: 600 cases, including 27 deaths
  • Snyder: 38 cases, including 1 death
  • Union: 56 cases, including 1 death
  • York: 943 cases, including 22 deaths

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

Rare syndrome

At least nine confirmed cases of a serious rare inflammatory condition in children linked with the coronavirus were reported Tuesday by the health department.

The rare condition has been reported in scores of New York children and in several children in other states. A few children have died.

Some children may have symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease, a rare condition in children that can cause swelling and heart problems. Symptoms include persistent high fever, rash or change in skin color, swollen lymph nodes, red eyes and abdominal pain, said the Pennsylvania state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine.

She said there have been a total of 17 reports of the illness in Pennsylvania, of which nine were confirmed, two were ruled out and another six remain under investigation.

Final day to apply for mail-in ballots

A Democratic primary mail-in ballot sent to a Lancaster County voter ahead of the June 2, 2020, primary.

Voters can request mail-in ballots until 5 p.m. today by submitting an online application. County election offices must receive completed mail-in ballots by 8 p.m. on June 2 in order for them to be counted.

For Pennsylvanians voting in person, polling places will be open in all counties on June 2, although some polling places may be consolidated. Voters should check with their county election office or visit the Department of State’s polling place locator to verify their voting location.

Red Rose Transit to resume normal service

Beginning Monday, June 1, Red Rose Transit will resume normal service on most of its bus routes, while three routes will operate with modified schedules: Route 16/Millersville, Route 20/Greenfield and Route 21/Gap.

The Route 6/Downtown Lancaster Loop will continue to be out of operation.

New schedules are available on the Red Rose Transit Authority’s website and the Queen Street Station.

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