May. 12, 2020

HARRISBURG – Disappointed and concerned that Gov. Tom Wolf has extended Carbon County’s stay-at-home order until June 4, area elected officials today sent a letter urging the administration to move the county from the red phase to the yellow phase of its reopening plan for Pennsylvania, allowing local businesses to reopen under federal safety guidelines.

The letter was drafted by the office of Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and signed by Sen. John Yudichak (I-14), Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill), and Carbon County Commissioners Wayne Nothstein, Rocky Ahner and Chris Lukasevich.

The letter points out that the county’s COVID-19 case count falls within the administration’s guidelines for a safe reopening, and local hospitals are properly prepared to test and care for current and future coronavirus patients.

“I have great confidence that our local businesses and residents can safely transition into the yellow phase. The time is now to take the next step,” Heffley said. “However, we will continue to keep a close watch on the numbers, and if there is a spike in cases, we are now able to respond quickly to slow the spread of the virus.”

“Collaboration among Carbon County’s elected officials along with commonsense analysis of the COVID-19 case data has led us to draft our letter to Gov. Wolf requesting that Carbon County be allowed to transition to a yellow designation,” said Yudichak. “The residents and businesses of Carbon County have done an exceptional job of adhering to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order and social distancing protocols. Because of both the scientific data and the responsible community spirit displayed by the people of Carbon County, I believe it is time for the governor to reevaluate our transition to the yellow phase of his reopening plan.”

“Does Gov. Wolf understand that our economy is tanking?” said Knowles. “Pennsylvanians need to work to feed their families. Without business, you don’t have workers and you don’t have an economy. Carbon County has flattened the curve. Many of my constituents tell me they don't have any more money in their savings accounts and they need income.”

“On March 26, the governor described that we are all fighting a war. A war requires sacrifice, united commitment and resources. Carbon County’s residents and small businesses sacrificed, while working together to flatten the curve and provide our healthcare heroes time and space to increase capacity and capabilities,” said the commissioners. “Now, our war’s priority of effort and resources must shift to responsibly and safely saving our economy and the livelihoods of our residents. Time is of the essence. This is the focus of our ‘one team, one fight’ appeal to Gov. Wolf.”

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: The letter is attached.

Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs