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Gov. Wolf Extends Stay-At-Home to June 4; Supreme Court Tosses Bridgegate; NJ National Guard Assist
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/07/20 11:10 pm | updated: 05/07/20 11:10 pm
 
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed orders to extend the stay-at-home orders for all counties across the commonwealth that will remain in the 'red phase' starting at midnight Friday, 5/8, tonight. The orders have been extended until June 4. They also signed a 'yellow phase' order for 24 counties in the north-central and northwestern parts of the state that will be moving into that second phase of reopening also starting at midnight. Those counties include Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango, and Warren. The 'yellow phase' allows for some retail businesses to reopen to in-person services, the stay-at-home orders are lifted in favor of aggressive mitigation, and child care can resume. Large gatherings are still banned and gyms, spas, movies, theaters, salons, and other entertainment venues are still closed.

Governor Wolf is expected to announced the next group of counties that will be moving to the 'yellow phase' and that opening date at his press conference of Friday. Southeastern Pennsylvania will likely be the last area to move forward through the phase system. Although the area has seen declines in daily case numbers it is still a long way from reaching the metrics set by the reopening plan.

Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200504-COVID-19-Business-Guidance.pdf

The United States Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision on Thursday when they threw out the convictions of two New Jersey politicians convicted in the "Bridgegate" scandal. Bridget Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Chris Christie, and Bill Baroni, a top Christie appointee to the Port Authority, were convicted of fraud and conspiracy for purposefully redirecting traffic on the George Washington Bridge and creating a jam on the New Jersey side in Fort Lee. The move was retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for reelection. Christie denied knowing about the scheme until it was uncovered. Kelly's 13-month sentence was put on hold as the Supreme Court heard the case. Baroni had begun serving his 18-month sentence, but was released pending the Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court did not deny that the two did a corrupt act, but said it did not rise to the level of a federal crime as they were charged.

"For no reason other than political payback, Baroni and Kelly used deception to reduce Fort Lee's access lanes to the George Washington Bridge - and thereby jeopardized the safety of the town's residents. But not every corrupt act by state or local officials is a federal crime. Because the scheme here did not aim to obtain money or property, Baroni and Kelly could not have violated the federal-program fraud or wire fraud laws," Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that 120 members of the New Jersey National Guard will be deployed to long term health care facilities that have been hit hard by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. About half of the state's virus deaths have occurred in long term care facilities. The troops are non-healthcare professionals and will be helping staff in anyway necessary. Their exact roles have not been defined. Almost two dozen troops will be headed to Andover Subacute & Rehab Center, the state's largest home, which has been hard hit. There has been at least once case of coronavirus in each of the state's 400 facilities.

 
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