Lancaster County has made it to the green phase of reopening! This is great news because it means we have reduced the percentage of positive cases and increased ICU capacity. We must continue to follow these best practices, which will continue to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep our economy open:
– Social distancing, which means staying 6 feet apart from those you do not live with, works and it must continue in the green phase. The virus is still in our community and highly contagious.
– Wear a cloth mask or face covering over your nose and mouth whenever your are in public spaces. A mask is an easy and essential tool to stop the spread of the virus. Visit www.cityoflancasterpa.com/covid-19-mask/ and follow the three easy steps to make a no-sew mask at home.
– Continue to practice good health and hygiene habits, such as:
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds;
Using hand sanitizer if washing your hands is not an immediate option;
Covering coughs or sneeze with a tissue or elbow;
Avoiding touching your face.
– Continue individual safety efforts to protect our most at-risk communities.
– Limit participation in large gatherings whenever possible. Though gatherings of 250 of fewer are permitted in the green phase, they may only happen if the PA Department of Health and CDC guidelines are followed. Please remember to always wear a mask during these gatherings.
– Please get tested if you have any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
Contact tracing is a confidential process conducted by health professionals to identify and support patients with suspected or confirmed infection of COVID-19. If a contact tracer contacts you, please answer the questions and follow the recommended protocols, if possible.
Which businesses are permitted to reopen in the green phase?
During the green phase, all businesses (including those restricted or prohibited in the yellow phase) are authorized to conduct in-person operations as long as the businesses follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines, the Orders of the Governor and the Secretary of Health providing for the Continued Reopening of the Commonwealth, issued May 27, 2020, and other orders or guidance that may be required based on monitoring of public health indicators.
How can I get help to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to my employees?
The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners recently approved a key component of the Lancaster County Economic Recovery Plan, led by EDC and the Lancaster Chamber, that includes a $6 million program to provide free personal protective equipment (PPE) to Lancaster County businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Visit https://recoverylancaster.com/funding/ for more information.
How can I apply for funds to help my small business recover?
The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners recently approved a key component of the Lancaster County Economic Recovery Plan, led by EDC and the Lancaster Chamber, that includes General parameters for the first phase of the $25 million Small Business Recovery & Sustainability Fund that will award grants to Lancaster County-based businesses. Visit https://recoverylancaster.com/funding/ for more information.
Can I apply for a block party permit or pavilion rental?
The City of Lancaster will not be issuing permits for block parties or pavilion rentals in the green phase at this current time. The City is working hard behind the scenes to find a safe way to make the barbeque work at Longs Park for this fall. Stay tuned for updates!
Will playground equipment and public works spaces like basketball courts be available for use?
Basketball hoops managed by the City of Lancaster will not be put back up in the green phase at this current time. This may change as we continue make progress in the green phase so please stay tuned for updates.
Will the dog parks reopen?
Yes. Dog parks will reopen during the green phase.
What about concerts, fairs and festivals?
In the green phase, gatherings for a planned or spontaneous event are limited to a maximum of 250 individuals. Gatherings and events — such as meetings, concerts, conferences, fairs, festivals, sporting events, movie showings or theater performances — are subject to specific conditions within each phase of reopening. These conditions require that facilities limit the total number of individuals gathering for each discrete gathering or event within the facility, notwithstanding the maximum occupancy of the facility.
Will services be held at places of worship throughout the city?
Places of worship are considered essential services but these institutions are strongly encouraged to enforce social distancing and other mitigation measures such as mask-wearing at services and limited in-person gatherings to 250 or fewer in accordance with State guidelines for the green phase. Worshippers who are most at-risk to COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to join services remotely.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Wearing a simple cloth mask is the easiest tool we have to prevent the spread of the virus. Coughing, sneezing, talking and even breathing spreads droplets containing the virus. Remember, the virus can be spread by individuals who have no symptoms at all. A cloth mask covering your nose and mouth can reduce the risk of infecting others. This is not a replacement for hand washing and social distancing but still a hugely important tool. If you are in public spaces, wear a mask.
Will I be able to go to my gym or fitness studio?
Yes. Indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities may open at 50% occupancy in the green phase. Appointments or reservations are strongly encouraged for all indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities, such as gyms or spas, and all other businesses where feasible.
Can I get my hair cut?
Yes! Personal care facilities like salons and barber shops may open in green phase at 50% occupancy and by appointment only.
Are bars and restaurants open for indoor dining?
In the green phase, retail food service businesses, including restaurants and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits. Takeout and delivery is still strongly encouraged. Make sure you bring a mask with you, even if you are seated outside, in order to access the facilities indoors.
Will public spaces be utilized for more outdoor dining options?
Yes. The City of Lancaster, in partnership with the Lancaster City Alliance and Downtown Investment District, announced temporary street closures beginning Friday, June 19, 2020, to help increase business by allowing seating in the public right-of-way. The streets will be open to dining from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday. The City is looking to expand these outdoor dining spaces for residents and visitors alike. Read more about the Public Dining Areas in Lancaster City.
Is in-person retail permitted?
Yes, in-person retail is permitted in the green phase. The City will also be expanding outdoor retail spaces during the green phase. Wear a mask whenever you go into these indoor establishments to keep yourself and employees safe.