HARRISBURG – With its low caseload and rural setting, Perry County should have been among the first Pennsylvania counties to have stay-at-home orders lifted as the COVID-19 crisis eases, according to Sen. John DiSanto, Rep. Mark Keller, and Perry County Commissioners Brian Allen, Gary Eby, and Brenda Watson.
The elected leaders sent a letter Thursday to Gov. Tom Wolf
asking him to reconsider his grouping Perry County with more populated counties in the Southcentral Region.
“It is beyond comprehension why Perry County, which had fewer than 40 cases of COVID-19 altogether, was not selected for reopening with the first counties May 8. It is time to rectify this error and allow our businesspeople to get back to work if they choose,” the letter states.
The full text of the letter states:
“Perry County was well-positioned to be among the first of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to have its businesses and services reopened as reported cases of COVID-19 taper off in Pennsylvania. Please reconsider the stay-at-home order placed on Perry County and move it to the ‘yellow’ status immediately.
“Our constituents demand a different approach to allow for fair decision-making for counties in which residents followed social distancing guidelines. The cooperation of Perry County residents is evidenced by its minimal caseload and should not be put to a disadvantage when compared to counties in a similar situation in the northwestern and northcentral part of the state.
“It is beyond comprehension why Perry County, which had fewer than 40 cases of COVID-19 altogether, was not selected for reopening with the first counties May 8. It is time to rectify this error and allow our businesspeople to get back to work if they choose.
“Perry County has municipal government leadership and robust healthcare services that allow for an expedited reopening. The county’s stay-at-home order being lifted would not adversely impact public health.
“You have called for a data-driven approach to reopen Pennsylvania’s economy, yet you have chosen to ignore data that demonstrates rural sections of the state are better equipped to social distance than the cities. The stay-at-home orders are having a detrimental effect on our economy and way of life.
“Perry County can safely and responsibly reopen immediately. We urge you to take action to move the county to yellow status.”
Representative Mark Keller
86th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives