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Wolf: Testing increase needed before full reopening

Gov. Tom Wolf

By Megan Guza

Trib Total Media

A day after Gov. Tom Wolf laid the groundwork for a gradual reopening of businesses in Pennsylvania, he warned in a call with reporters Tuesday that a much more robust coronavirus testing system will need to be in place for any wide reopening of the state.

“We are working with the Department of Health, PEMA (the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency) — the entire administration team is working to increase the capacity for testing,” Wolf said on the call.

成年轻人电影直接看The governor on Monday extended the state’s stay-at-home order another week, until May 8. Some business sectors will be able to restart at that point, including construction and online auto sales.

“As we do our phased reopening, we are going to be doing that in sync with our capacity for testing,” he said.

Wolf said the state appears to be “in good shape” in terms of platforms through which to do testing. The challenge, he said, is getting the swabs and reagents necessary to perform the test, a concern The New York Times reported is echoed across the country. Wolf said the state is working with both the private sector and federal government to get the crucial supplies.

In terms of where the reopening will happen, Wolf reiterated that it will be a regional approach based on virus data. Areas with low or declining case counts could reopen “in a fairly robust way,” he said. “Others, less so.”

成年轻人电影直接看“If I were in Philly, I probably would not want my government to say, ‘OK, everything seems just perfect right now,’” he said.

Philadelphia County has reported nearly 10,000 cases since the virus appeared in the state on March 6, and deaths have surpassed 350. Neighboring Montgomery County is reporting 223 deaths and more than 3,000 cases, and Delaware County has reported 118 deaths and more than 2,600 cases.

成年轻人电影直接看Wolf’s health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said Tuesday that contact tracing — identifying people who have been exposed to an infected person so they can be quarantined — will be “very important” as Pennsylvania emerges from the pandemic.

The governor said there’s no budget for contact tracing, but Levine, in a separate briefing, gave assurances that Pennsylvania will have a “very robust” tracing program that will be funded with federal dollars.

One retailer, one customer

成年轻人电影直接看Retail businesses would be able to open if they can operate with a single employee serving one customer at a time under legislation that passed the GOP-controlled state House Tuesday.

成年轻人电影直接看The proposal would also permit retail stores to offer curbside pickup, as the state-owned liquor store system has recently started doing.

Republican backers said the one-worker, one-customer system would be safer than shopping at large retail outlets that have been permitted to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

成年轻人电影直接看Democratic opponents called the proposal shortsighted and warned it would expose workers and customers to risk of infection.

成年轻人电影直接看On Monday, Wolf vetoed a different Republican-backed bill that would have reopened retail businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.