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Pennsylvania One Of Seven States To Work Together On COVID-19 Plans For Reopening

Gov. Tom Wolf extended the stay-at-home order to the entire state on April 1, 2020.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one seven states in the northeast that announced Monday they'll be working together to come up with a plan to reopen their economies once the spread of COVID-19 is under control.

The announcement came during a joint telephone conference, led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. President Trump tweeted earlier in the day that it is up to him, not the governors, when to reopen the states.

But, when asked about that, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf referred to how state closures have been happening.

"Seeing as how we had the responsibility for closing the state down, I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it back up," Wolf said.

He said the key is to make sure people are healthy first, "or the economy’s not going to work.”

Along with Pennsylvania and New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island will each appoint a public health and economic official, along with a chief of staff, to the group. Massachusetts joined the effort later in the day.

The group will come up with proposals for lifting stay-at-home orders and reopening economies without contributing to another wave of cases. 

Cuomo said the states' approaches may vary, but they want to “make sure we are smart in the way we are doing this.”

“Yes, we’ve never been here before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ensure public confidence that you’re doing everything you can to do it in a smart way, in an informed way, guided by experts, and data and science, and not in a political way," Cuomo said.

He said there isn't a timetable, but it needs to be within weeks. "We want it ASAP, but we want it smart."

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.
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