By Jan Murphy | firstname.lastname@example.org / Updated Sep 01, 2020
For the second time since the first two presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus appeared in Pennsylvania on March 6, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday renewed the state’s disaster declaration for the pandemic for another 90 days.
This comes at a time when the House returns to voting session and a renewed effort is afoot in the chamber to try to thwart the governor’s emergency powers by overriding Wolf’s veto of a bill that would allow the Legislature to force the governor to end the disaster declaration.
The governor’s extension of the disaster declaration drew a harsh response from House GOP spokesman Jason Gottesman particularly in light of the governor’s plea on Tuesday to the Legislature to quickly pass legislation to protect Pennsylvanians from eviction from their homes now that his eviction moratorium has expired.
“Governor Wolf has ignored the law and acted by fiat for the last six months. It is curious now that he is searching for the limits of his authority as an excuse to pass the buck to the General Assembly over the crisis he created for both property owners and renters,” Gottesman said in a statement.
“Instead of telling the General Assembly how to do its job and what bills to pass, Governor Wolf should instead work with us to reopen Pennsylvania’s economy, get those struggling to pay their bills back to work safely, and restore some sense of normalcy to the people of the Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile, the percentage of positive coronavirus tests continues to drop across Pennsylvania for the fifth straight week, but the Wolf Administration reported on Monday that nine counties bear watching for COVID-19 infections. Those counties and their positivity rates are: Columbia (13.5%), Armstrong (8.3%), Perry (6.9%), Northumberland (6.7%), Potter (5.9%), Beaver (5.7%), Dauphin (5.3%), Fulton (5.3%) and York (5.0%).
The number of new cases has dropped steadily in the month of August after climbing in late June and throughout July. The state hasn’t reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day since July 28.