Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf says some parts of state may reopen in early May amid coronavirus: 'Not one size that fits all'

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he is weighing reopening parts of the state in early May that were minimally affected by the coronavirus.

“There is not one size that fits all. We can start to reopen the state in, I think, some areas a fairly robust way, in other areas less so,” Wolf told reporters on Tuesday, adding that some businesses could open as early as May 8.


Nearly 30 percent of the state's coronavirus cases are concentrated in Philadelphia -- the hardest-hit city, with more than 10,000 cases.

“If I were in Philadelphia, I probably would not want my government to be saying, ’OK, everything seems to be just perfect right now,'" Wolf said, acknowledging the rise in COVID-19 cases in that region.

In total, Pennsylvania has 35,225 positive cases of coronavirus and 1,608 people have died.

Despite the growing numbers, health officials say the state is making progress toward flattening the curve, in large part due to social distancing restrictions that remain in place.

“If we’re gonna be in a position for reopening, we need to make sure we have testing,” Wolf said, stressing the importance of being able to quickly determine cases of COVID-19 and ensuring that health care facilities aren't overburdened by patients.


The state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, said last week that contact tracing is another important tool that would enable officials to determine groups of people who would require isolation if they are exposed to the coronavirus. However, Wolf said Pennsylvania isn't nearly equipped enough to put such a system in place across the state.

“We don’t have a lot of good leads on that at this point and we certainly do not have a budget,” he said.