The number of new coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania dropped over the weekend — news which comes as the state slowly begins the process of reopening, county by county.
The state, with a population of nearly 13 million, reported 623 new cases of the virus as of midnight on Sunday. That is 366 less than the 989 cases reported on Saturday.
According to the York Daily Record, the state also saw a drop in coronavirus-related deaths, reporting 15 on Sunday — down from 61 reported the day prior.
The updates come as Gov. Tom Wolf (D) slowly permits clusters of counties to move into the yellow phase of reopening. Only 37 counties are currently under this phase, which eases restrictions, allowing for some nonessential businesses to operate at a limited capacity. But even under the yellow phase, restaurants and bars are limited to takeout and delivery, and gyms and salons must remain closed.
The governor announced last week that 12 additional counties can move from the lockdown phase to yellow on Friday, May 22. That will still leave 18 counties under the lockdown order, which is not set to expire until June 4.
The red phase is the most restrictive, permitting travel exclusively for essential needs, and barring non-life essential businesses from operating.
Pennsylvania reported 62,234 positive coronavirus cases and 4,418 related deaths as of Monday morning. According to the state health department’s data, 13,447 of those positive cases are among residents of nursing homes and personal care facilities, and another 2,091 cases are among employees of such facilities. Nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths — 3,057 of 4,418 as of Monday morning — are connected to nursing homes.
Wolf has faced intense backlash from residents, many of whom gathered at the state Capitol on Friday to protest his “draconian” lockdown orders.
“I’m here protesting Commie Tommy Tom Wolf,” one protester, Catherine Callahan, told Breitbart News.
“I mean he’s a communist, and everything he has demonstrated for us today just proves that he is a communist,” she continued:
“Threatening to take away licenses to open your business, your liquor licenses, et cetera. He is refusing to let people run their lives and feed their families,” she added. “This is America. This is not Stalinist Russia. But he is trying to turn Pennsylvania into his own makeshift Stalinist Russia, and we won’t stand for it.”