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Gov. Tom Wolf releases tiered plan to reopen Pa.

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The Investigator

Your guide to the Capitol & stories holding the powerful to account

April 23, 2020 | spotlightpa.org

The slow march toward reopening the state took a step forward late yesterday, when Gov. Tom Wolf announced a color-coded system that could — emphasis on couldallow some counties or regions to ease restrictions starting May 8.

You can dive into the specifics of the plan, but it's contingent on a number of factors, including decreasing numbers of confirmed positive cases over two weeks, as well as "robust case investigation" and testing capacity. The problem is, the state has yet to lay out a plan to address either of those critical issues.

Spotlight PA is following both of those stories, so stay tuned for more.

The governor's announcement came just days after hundreds of people stood shoulder to shoulder at the Capitol for a rally to "reopen" the state. Such a gathering went against the advice of both federal and state health officials.

Wolf appears to be walking a careful line, rebuffing efforts by Republicans in the legislature to hastily reopen more businesses, while also laying the groundwork to potentially ease rules in more rural counties where the GOP dominates.

Finally, we're excited to welcome two new partners this week from Western Pennsylvania: Gazette 2.0 in McKees Rocks and Presente in Pittsburgh. We now have 32 newsroom partners in all corners of the state.

If you have a story we should pursue, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Sarah Anne Hughes, Spotlight PA


"The community should be outraged.”

Charlene Harrington, a professor of sociology and nursing, on the lack of transparency on deaths inside Pennsylvania's nursing homes
INCONSISTENT DATA FROM THE STATE: Below is the state's case and death count as of this afternoon, but it comes with a big asterisk. The state has in the past several days provided inconsistent death data and varying explanations. After including "probable" deaths — those considered to be COVID-19 despite no test having been administered — in the count Tuesday and Wednesday, the state pulled them today after questions about accuracy.

We're continuing to follow these problems and will have more reporting soon.


As of 12 p.m. April 23
Latest from Spotlight PA
» GOP lawmakers prep nuclear option to revoke Wolf’s emergency powers
» Pa. teachers’ pensions are invested in a NYC skyscraper linked to Jared Kushner
» Living conditions, lack of health care put migrant workers at risk for COVID-19 
» Self-employed face high-stakes choice between loans and unemployment benefits
» Pa. released figures on the coronavirus and race, but not specific geographic data
» Nursing homes left to largely police themselves as coronavirus deaths mount
From across the state
» CAPITAL-STAR: The pandemic has put the commutation process for lifers on hold 
» CITIZENS' VOICE: Luzerne County is sending mail-in ballot applications to all voters 
» INQUIRER: At least 10 residents die at state-run Chester County veterans' home
» THE NOTEBOOK: How one Philadelphia teacher is trying to salvage the school year
» PENNLIVE: Coronavirus reignites racism against Hazleton's Latinx population 
» PENNLIVE: Lobbying group offers grants to hospitality workers
» POST-GAZETTE: Community colleges, county governments continue furloughs 
» WHYY: Special education students face additional challenges with online learning

Send your answers to newsletters@spotlightpa.org.

Hen House (Case No. 35): A hen laid six eggs. A thief came and broke two eggs, fried two eggs, and ate two eggs. How many eggs remain?
Stumped? Get a hint. Feeling smart? Challenge a friend.

Last week's answer: The fourth hole did not have a seed.

Congrats to JoAnn B., who will receive Spotlight PA swag (when we reopen our office!). Others who correctly answered: Don H., Jeff W., George S., Lou R., Stephan A., Willis M., Norm A., Joseph S., Rebecca D., Philip C., Jon N., Judy E., Annette I., Susan Y., Pam C., Lisa M., Joe B., Drew C., Kenneth J., and Jim S.
» This week's Riddler hint: Does it add up?
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