Coronavirus Facts First

Pennsylvania senator issues his own plan to re-open the state economy

Washington

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has a plan to re-open Pennsylvania’s economy.

“I think it’s time, I think we can do this safely and that’s what my plan is about,” Toomey said.

The first phase opens businesses that can follow health and social distancing recommendations. The second phase would see restaurants, bars and gyms re-open, ahead of entertainment venues in phase three.

“If a business in such a region or a county is able and willing to comply with CDC guidelines for keeping your workers and your customers safe, then I think that business ought to be able to reopen,” Toomey said.

State and local officials will move to the next phase when counties see local hospital capacity is not at risk of being overwhelmed. The counties must also see if there is space in hospitals if people do get sick, and if hospitals are willing to comply with basic protocols.

“And if those three things are met, then I think you ought to be in business, if you want to be,” Toomey said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has a similar plan, but Democrats want the state to be careful.

“What we’re really worried about is severely burdening our hospitals and our healthcare providers and our first responders,” Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright said.

Cartwright is worried more cases could pop up and Pennsylvania Rep. Dwight Evans wants the state to closely follow CDC guidelines.

“I think we need to be very sensitive to how we approach this. That’s why there was $25 billion added for testing,” Evans said.

Toomey says two-thirds of Pennsylvania already meets some specific criteria and can resume activities.

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