COVID-19 Update, May 27: Local legislators ask Wolf to allow restaurants, hair salons to partially reopen under Yellow status

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

As much of Pennsylvania edges toward reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic, some local legislators are asking Gov. Tom Wolf to amend his rules for counties in Yellow status and allow a limited reopening of some restaurants and hair salons.

State Rep. Joe Ciresi — along with State Rep. Dan Williams (D-73), Christina Sappey (D-158) and State Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-157) in the Chester County delegation — are asking Wolf to adjust his restrictions.

The legislators argue that strict safety guidelines could be used — as shown in other sectors of the economy — to help small businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic.

“We have seen how our grocery stores and other businesses have adapted to this crisis,” Ciresi said. “This letter is merely a call to amend the Yellow Phase as it is currently to allow hair salons, barbershops, and restaurants to safely reopen as well. Protecting lives is my top priority, but we also need to make sure our small businesses do not have to close their doors permanently over this pandemic. Reopening can be done safely, and we have the protective equipment and cleaning procedures to follow mitigation guidelines.” 

The legislators called for limited capacity for these businesses — 50% of their capacity limit during the Yellow Phase and 80% during the Green Phase. This would also include full use of outdoor seating, including adjacent parking capacity, in accordance with local PLCB guidelines and local ordinances.

Meanwhile the state Department of Health (DOH) reported a slight uptick in new cases — not shocking after very low numbers were reported for the Memorial Day holiday. DOH said there were 780 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 69,417. 113 new deaths were reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,265. Of note: total deaths in the United States passed 100,000 Wednesday.

In Chester County, county health reported five new deaths over the holiday weekend, after going two straight days without a COVID-19 related fatality. The count death toll stands at 246.

Elsewhere, the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Wednesday that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Effective May 27, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through June 30, 2020, have been extended until June 30, 2020. These extensions are in addition to those announced on April 30, which extended products with expiration dates up to May 31 to June 30.

A camera card is considered a driver’s license, so it is covered by the same terms and conditions extending other driver’s license products. Camera cards with expiration dates within this timeframe are also extended through June 30, 2020.

Additionally, limited services are available at some Driver License and Photo License Centers. For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; and driver license and photo ID duplicates. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.

More COVID-19 information is available at For more information, visit or

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