Wayne officials looking for upgrade to green

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HONESDALE, PA — Just one day shy of a week in the yellow phase, the Wayne County Commissioners have commenced their push for green under Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-phase plan for reopening Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, May 28, commissioner Joe Adams said that Wayne Memorial Hospital had not had any cases of COVID-19 for the past five days, and it recently reopened a 25-room wing of the hospital which had been isolated for COVID-19 patients. He also said that the county’s three nursing homes and three correctional facilities all had zero cases as well.

Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer also noted that none of the hospital employees have been infected with the virus.

“They’re one of the few hospitals that can say that in the state and, in fact, in the nation,” Cramer said.

Statistics like that, and the general flattening of the curve in Wayne County, demonstrate to chairman Brian Smith that the county is ready to soon move to the green phase. He said that the green phase is still “quite limiting,” which he found “quite troubling.”

“We’re in a climate now with warmer weather and warmer nights that this virus is not going to survive, and we will continue to see numbers drop off,” he said. “I hate to see us limit ourselves to a point where we can’t hardly experience normalization like we’d like to.”

Under the green phase, gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited. Restaurants, bars, salons, barber shops, indoor recreational facilities, casinos, movie theaters and shopping malls are only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Other businesses which are currently operating at 50 percent capacity may go to 75 percent.

Earlier in the evening, chief clerk Andrew Seder opened three bids for the repair of the recycling center roof. The bids ranged from about $317,000 to over $400,000. Adams moved to forward the bids to the county solicitor and engineer for further review.

“Although there is some consistency in values, it is somewhat higher than what I anticipated,” Smith said.

With paused county operations slowly resuming, the commissioners also brought back several county employees from furlough to resume their full-time duties.

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