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The Center Square

Golf courses, private campgrounds, marinas and guided fishing trips can reopen May 1, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday.

The announcement follows last week’s guidance that construction sites also will resume operations Friday as the state looks toward loosening pandemic restrictions in less affected counties in the coming weeks.

“As the weather warms and daylight lengthens, enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress,” Wolf said. “As we start to take measured, limited steps to reopen our commonwealth, reopening these industries will help to rebuild our economy and strengthen our mental health.”

Residents must still practice social distancing and universal masking, the administration cautioned. Reopened businesses must follow guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to operate safely.

“Practicing social distancing takes a little planning and patience, but it is necessary if we want to continue to flatten the curve while ensuring that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to de-stress and get exercise,” Wolf said. “Finding the balance between enjoying the outdoors and staying safe is only possible when all Pennsylvanians are abiding by the same precautions. It’s critical that all Pennsylvanians adhere to the safety guidelines to allow for these outdoor activities to remain available to the public.”

Rules for reopening golf courses, campgrounds

Pennsylvania residents remain under stay at home orders through May 8. The administration has said it will likely lift restrictions in some northern and western counties then, however. New case counts must hold below 50 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. A county’s ability to test and perform contact tracing will also factor into its reopening plans, Wolf said.

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The Department of Health reported more than 42,000 cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Nearly 1,600 deaths were attributed to the virus over the last seven weeks, representing the sixth highest concentration of cases in the country. Pennsylvania’s largest outbreaks remain in the southeast and northeast, where counties border New York and New Jersey. Significant spread of the virus has occurred in southwestern and central Pennsylvania, as well.

Christen Smith
Christen Smith

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.

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