Restaurants can add outdoor dining in yellow-phase counties

Beginning June 5, restaurants and retail food service businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted to add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:

  • Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Customers being served must be seated at a table.

Prohibitions are also included. The following are not permitted:

  • Self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, condiments, and drink stations.
  • Condiments on tables; these must be dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
  • Reusable menus.
  • Refilling food and beverage containers or allowing implements brought in by customers.

Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties will join Northumberland County in the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 29. All Pennsylvanias counties are expected to be out of the red on June 4 and 17 counties will be going green on May 29.

Pennsylvania added 625 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, putting Pennsylvania’s caseload at the 70,000-patient mark.

According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, the state has 70,042 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.

The death toll was increased by 108 souls on Tuesday, putting the count at 5,373.

Dauphin County added 38 cases and five deaths to its total on Wednesday, while Schuylkill County added five cases and three deaths, while Northumberland County added four cases. Dauphin County currently stands at a total to 1,212 cases with 71 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 606 cases with 31 deaths, and Northumberland County, in the yellow phase of reopening, is at 186 cases and three deaths.

In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 133 cases and 20 deaths, putting their totals at 17,972 positive cases and 1,282 deaths since the coronavirus first hit in March..

Officials say that the public’s effort to fight and prevent the spread of the disease must continue.

“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from COVID-19 has not gone away,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others. Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 9,734 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 4,693 negative tests and 1,356 in Northumberland County.

The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 1,476 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications.

The breakdown is as follows:

Positive cases

Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 2%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 37%; 50-64, 25%, 65+, 28%


Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12 <1%; 13-18, <1%; 19-24, 1%;  25-49, 16%; 50-64, 26%; 65+, 56%

The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:

Adams-240 (7), Allegheny-1,851 (161), Armstrong-62 (4), Beaver-579 (72), Bedford-38 (2),  Berks-3,973 (308), Blair-49 (1), Bradford-46 (3), Bucks-4,966 (486), Butler-226 (12), Cambria- 57(2), Cameron-2, Carbon-232 (22), Centre-150 (6), Chester-2,555 (51), Clarion-25 (2), Clearfield-37, Clinton-55 (2), Columbia-346, Crawford-23, Cumberland-618 (47), Dauphin-1,212 (71), Delaware-6,337 (544), Elk-6, Erie-242 (4), Fayette-95 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-759 (31), Fulton-15 (1), Greene-27, Huntingdon-228 (2), Indiana-90 (5), Jefferson-7, Juniata-95 (4), Lackawanna-1,516 (163), Lancaster-3,056 (286), Lawrence-74 (8), Lebanon-944 (33), Lehigh-3,719 (218), Luzerne-2,689 (139), Lycoming-162 (16), McKean-12 (1), Mercer-106 (4), Mifflin-58 (1), Monroe-1,311 (101), Montgomery-6,811 (656), Montour-50, Northampton-3,022 (206), Northumberland-186 (3), Perry-54 (2), Philadelphia-17,972 (1,282), Pike-476 (18), Potter-4, Schuylkill-606 (31), Snyder-39 (1), Somerset-37, Sullivan-2, Susquehanna-99 (15), Tioga-16 (2), Union-56 (1), Venango-8, Warren-3, Washington-139 (5), Wayne-118 (7), Westmoreland-443 (38), Wyoming-34 (7), York-970 (25).

As of midnight May 28, there have been 357,804 negative tests for the coronavirus, 7,814 more than the day before. The state also said that 64 percent of the confirmed cases have recovered. If a case has not been reported as a death, and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test (or onset of symptoms) then an individual is considered recovered..

What is coronavirus?

According to the Pa. Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals and at times, evolve and infect people before spreading through human to human contact.

Human coronaviruses are spread just like the common cold or the flu — either through the air through coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after a person is exposed to the illness. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. As of May 28, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,698,523 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 100,446 deaths.

What can you do?

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
Clean surfaces frequently.
Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.
The Pa. Department of Health offers these guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.