Officials in Pennsylvania grow frustrated with Gov. Wolf shutdown order

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Officials across southeastern Pennsylvania are growing frustrated with Governor Tom Wolf's shutdown orders, arguing it's time to ease restrictions.

With the lowest infection rate in the area, Chester County officials say their area has reached the tipping point and it's time to move to the yellow phase.

"In the southeast region, we provide nearly 60% of the tax revenue to Harrisburg and we need to get our economy going," said Chester County Commissioner Michele Kichline. "All these wonderful little businesses that make us such a great place to live, they can't last much longer and the workers are struggling."

RELATED: Governor Wolf could move some Pennsylvania counties to 'green phase' soon

The letter outlines their ability to do contact tracing and their access to testing while pointing out that the Governor's "complicated set of metrics" are not effective given "Chester County has a population density that makes achieving this number very difficult."

"We want, really, to sit down at the table as a county that's ready to move to the next phase and have a conversation on data," said Kichline.

Frustration mounted in Media, Thursday, as protesters held a rally demanding Delaware county reopen, despite having the highest infection rate in the area .

"If people are rebelling in a way, if they're doing things in a safe way, I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to open," said 160th District State Representative Steve Barrar (R). "Unfortunately our governor has not listened to the legislature."

On Wednesday, more business owners around the area defied orders and opened illegally.

"I had to weigh my options it was either risk getting a fine, or risk losing my business," said Danielle Strano of Wicked Cutz.

But a Delaware County gym owner David Davidson of CrossFit Main Line said he's not opening until he gets the green light from the governor.

"If we were to open, my fear would be that if we opened up our doors now without approval from the governor or form higher ups, that our clients wouldn't feel comfortable coming back into the gym because we don't have that approval," said Davidson.

Delaware County Chair Brian Zidek says he and other officials are pushing Harrisburg to stay away from a one size fits all approach.

"Southeast Pennsylvania does not look like the rest of Pennsylvania and using the same metrics they're using isn't useful," said Zidek.

Governor Tom Wolf Spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger said in a statement:

"As outlined in the plan, the approach is data driven and reliant upon quantifiable criteria to drive a targeted, evidence-based approach to reopenings in Pennsylvania."


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