Natalie Green, a teacher at Bethlehem Area Vo-Tech in cosmetology and esthetics for the last 18 years, officially retired surrounded by friends after seeing her students one last time in a brief celebration June 5.
Despite the celebration and damp eyes, the coronavirus kept most people distant, masked and muted. Green began in special education at Parkland HS and followed encouragement to teach cosmetology at Vo-Tech in 2002, and four years ago, esthetics, which focuses on skin care.
Reopening businesses and public areas has caused a rash of fresh coronavirus outbreaks across the country, especially among states that rushed to reopen early, but others are not immune. Pennsylvania has seen an increase as well, from around 600 new cases per day last month to between 700 and 900 cases per day last week.
At its June 11, meeting, the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts Board of Directors voted to adopt an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Resolution to continue its support and commitment to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion in Charter Arts’ programs, practices, and policies.
At the pandemic’s presumed height in April, Pennsylvania was easily seeing 1,200 or more new cases a day, and as many as 2,000. But at its lowest, in mid-June, it was only in the 300s.
Today, as early-reopening states such as Texas and Florida are recording as many as 8,000 to 10,000 cases daily, Pa. is remaining in the 600s. That may change, however, with a bump up to 840 recorded July 1.
The last yellow county in the commonwealth, Lebanon, despite breaking from Governor Tom Wolf’s orders in trying to open early, is scheduled to turn green Friday. It marks a cautiously successful reopening in Pennsylvania, as some states rushed to reopen weeks ago and are now seeing record outbreaks of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
California, Texas and Florida are now counting between 5,000 and 7,000 new cases a day, with some urban hospitals in Texas in particular straining to keep up.
Governor Tom Wolf has announced that 12 more counties will move to the Green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic Friday – and they include Lehigh and Northampton.
Wolf said, “It’s a testament to the many residents and businesses that have sacrificed over the past three months to stay home and adhere to the guidance the state has provided to protect lives and livelihoods. As we begin to reopen, I urge everyone to stay alert and continue to follow social distancing to maintain the momentum of mitigation we have in place.”
In response to the week of protests following the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody, one of many nationwide, but which was caught entirely on film, Governor Tom Wolf announced Thursday a number of proposals he will investigate for police and justice reform in the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is slowly re-opening, if not exactly returning to normal. Forty-six counties are now in the least-restrictive Green phase, indicating many businesses have opened their doors, though with numerous precautions. Much of the Lehigh Valley remains with the 21 counties still temporarily in the yellow phase.
It was a landmark moment in a time of isolation and anger, Governor Tom Wolf said Friday, that all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties had risen above the strict Red phase of the pandemic plan.
June 5 will mark a change in lifestyle for many in the Lehigh Valley. Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday that while 16 rural counties will be moving from the Yellow to the Green phase of the state re-opening plan, all the counties still in Red, including Lehigh and Northampton, will be elevated to Yellow.
Wolf said the administration is working in conjunction with medical experts and county and municipal governments to make certain everybody is prepared and nobody is rushed. “The goal here is to make sure every Pennsylvanian is confident they will be safe.”