Erie County does not make the list as the commonwealth announces the next 16 counties that are moving into the green phase.
During Friday’s Erie County COVID-19 briefing, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper says that state officials told her that we are not ready to go green. The reasons cited by the state were the increase in the number of cases and a lack of contact tracing.
Dahlkemper disagrees, believing that Erie County is ready to go green. She also says that she sees too many people not social distancing and not wearing a mask. She is urging everyone to return to the behavior that allowed Erie County to be among the first in the yellow phase.
“We can only do so much from the county health department side. We can’t do it without the public and we need the public to be our partners and it just hasn’t happened and it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating.” Dahlkemper said.
JET 24 Action News reporter Chelsea Swift spoke to business owners who still can’t open their doors to the public.
We spoke to owners of salons and spas who can’t open their businesses until the green phase. They believe it’s time for Erie County to enter he green phase.
“I think it’s time to let the people decide what they’re okay with, instead of being controlled from a top down government.” said Ray Jean Catrabone, owner of Sandcille Spa.
Catrabone says for more than 10 weeks, she hasn’t been able to schedule clients during what is usually her busiest time of year.
“It’s time for us to be able to open our businesses, to regain our revenue and to do what we need to do to be safe and not be told what that is any longer.” Catrabone said.
Another owner of a business that can’t open until the green phase is saying she feels that her business, Studio Hue, is prepared for clients and staff that are ready to get back into the salon.
“We need to get started and its going to be between does my stylist want to come into work and does the client want to come in. It should be a commitment between the two.” said Judie Meyn, owner of Studio Hue.
State Senator Dan Laughlin intends on speaking with Governor Tom Wolf to advocate for Erie County to enter the green phase.
“To leave Erie County in the yellow phase like this is really crippling our businesses and its also encouraging people to travel outside the county and then come back.” Laughlin said.
And State Senator Dan Laughlin adding he plans to discuss what it will take for Erie County to enter the green phase this weekend with Governor Wolf.