LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. - The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce is urging Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Health Department to give more details about the decision-making process as to why Lebanon County will stay in the yellow phase of the COVID-19 reopening plan on Friday.
“Just to really take a look at the numbers again and see how they compare to other counties that have been moved to green or will be moved to green this Friday, and perhaps reconsider moving Lebanon County to green,” said Karen Groh, president and CEO of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
A letter from the chamber to the governor makes a number of points, including that many businesses have followed state guidelines, even after the county commissioners voted 2-1 to move from the red phase to the yellow phase in mid-May.
The state says that Lebanon has not shown a stable, decreasing or low confirmed case count in the last two weeks.
“Well, frankly, it’s very disheartening for many of them who have tried so hard to wait things out and comply with the guidelines,” Groh said.
Members of the chamber are also concerned that people in Lebanon County will head over into adjoining Berks County to visit their businesses as Berks readies to go green on Friday.
“I think it’s unfair to certain counties,” said Charles Galzarano of Womelsdorf. “They’re neighboring counties, so people are going to travel from county to county. I mean, I live right on the line of Lebanon County where I live.”
“People will be coming from Lebanon County to get haircuts, to do all the things they can’t do here,” said Dee Galzarano of Womelsdorf. “And the business owners, small-business owners, are really struggling."
Come Friday, Lebanon will hold the distinction of being the only county remaining in the yellow phase in the commonwealth.