May. 08, 2020

HARRISBURG – Both Cambria and Somerset counties are among the next 13 Pennsylvania counties being moved to the yellow phase of reopening by Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. The change, which was announced Friday, will officially take place at 12:01 a.m. this Friday, May 15.

State Reps. Carl Walker Metzgar, who represents the majority of municipalities in Somerset County; and Rep. Jim Rigby, who represents the City of Johnstown and 19 additional Cambria County municipalities, issued this joint statement following Friday’s announcement:

“The majority of Pennsylvanians thankfully have never experienced anything similar to the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully never will again. There is no playbook to follow for most of our decision makers. All we, along with taxpayers, ask for, demand and deserve is transparent - not translucent - government.

“Too many decisions being made by Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Levine lack clarity and consistency. ‘Science’ and ‘metrics’ are frequently referenced as measuring sticks. Cambria and Somerset counties met the established guidance but will regrettably be held down for yet another week. They were mistakenly grouped with Allegheny County, which has COVID-19 numbers that in no way mirror theirs. This is why we pushed for a county-by-county approach to reopening Pennsylvania just as it was ‘closed,’ a request that fell on deaf ears.

“Is it too little too late? Both counties had economic challenges before this pandemic. Both have citizens willing to look past those challenges and forge ahead. The one thing they lack is an understanding of the logic behind allowing one business to open while a competitor remains closed due to a flawed waiver system that no one is allowed to examine except law enforcement. They are ‘ignorant’ to the reason why larger, big box chain stores are allowed to open but they must settle for curbside service if they want to buy a flat of flowers from their local garden store.

“Pennsylvanians are resilient. We will rebound and return. It’s just tough when everyone isn’t pulling on the same end of the rope.”

Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
69th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross

Representative Jim Rigby
71st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott B. Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell) /