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Lyco Comms send letter to Wolf asking to enter green phase

Lycoming County commissioners have shared the following letter, which they are sending to Gov. Tom Wolf, with the public.

Dear Governor Wolf,

Your announcement on Friday, May 22, 2020 identified the 17 counties that would move from the Yellow to the Green Phase effective on May 29 2020. Lycoming County was not one of the 17 counties identified. Centre County originally did not want to be move out of the Yellow Phase, but has since then reconsidered and will be moving to the Green Phase.

The residents of Lycoming County, along with the elected leaders, have recognized the risks associated with COVID-19 and cooperated with Governor’s orders. Lycoming County’s compliance with all State orders is evidenced by extremely limited Non-Life Sustaining business enforcement warnings and absolutely no citations issued by law enforcement.

Lycoming County was fortunate to enter the Yellow Phase on May 8th. Over the past 14 days we have had an increase of 29 cases that are primary centralized in one area of our county; in a private nursing home. They currently have 75 resident and 14 employee cases in that facility. The fact that the PADOH sent representative to facilitate corrective action at the Jersey Shore Manor Care (JSMC) is met with cautious optimism and hope.

The county seat of Lycoming is Williamsport and is where UPMC is centrally located. UPMC facilities does not have anyone with COVID-19 at this time. They have the ability to do contact tracing and to address any increased COVID-19 activity, should that occur. The City of Williamsport has had 26 cases over the past 10 weeks. Our county has experienced 16 overall deaths, 15 alone from JSMC. The number of COVID-19 positives and deaths reported is disproportionate to actual non-isolated situation in Lycoming County.

One of our overarching concerns is the hardships that the people and businesses of Lycoming County have suffered due to this pandemic. Many of our businesses are now expressing that due to the extended severe financial impacts they may not be able to reopen unless given that opportunity to reopen immediately. These business’s futures remain uncertain and unhinged, causing extreme fear and anxiety.

Lycoming is a county with two colleges that is dependent on tourism and the Little League World Series. A large portion of our county is dependent on this institution and the events that it draws in annually. Due to the pandemic, they are not in operation and so too are now experiencing those hardships.

The Lycoming County Board of Commissioners are requesting that you reconsider and allow Lycoming County to enter the Green Phase this Friday. We believe that the plan in place at the JSMC, the low number of cases over the past 14 days, and the capabilities of our medical facilities; we are in the appropriately postured to move forward to the Green Phase.

A continued partial lockdown will not assist our county in any further reduction of positive cases and we believe will do more damage. Lycoming County’s median income is $44,000 yearly.

We ask that you hear the residents of Lycoming County; they want to reopen in a responsible and safe manner, because their future depends on it.

Respectfully,

Scott L. Metzger-Chairman Tony Mussare-Vice Chairman Richard Mirabito-Secretary

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