Matzie questions governor’s decision to keep Beaver County closed

Says excluding county from others moving to ‘yellow,’ open status May 15 makes ‘zero sense’

AMBRIDGE, May 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will remain in the “red,” closed status, when surrounding counties – including Allegheny County – move to the “yellow,” open phase of the state's reopen plan on May 15.

“Beaver County remaining in COVID red status, due to inflated numbers from one nursing home, makes zero sense. I’ve been urging the administration, for over a month, to intervene in the dire situation at Brighton Rehab. I directly informed the Department of Health of my concerns about the lack of transparency with residents, families and the public.

“So now, a facility that is responsible for nearly 70% of our county’ total cases, is being used as a reason to hold us back? It’s unacceptable.

“We took the directive - stay calm, stay home, stay safe – to heart. We social distanced, wore masks and gloves.

“Our businesses suffered; our workers suffered. But we did it to help protect the health and well-being of our friends, families and neighbors. And while far too many of our people tragically died, that tragedy could have been far, far worse. We are ready to move forward. We are ready to start our recovery. We must continue to utilize necessary safeguards to protect ourselves and those we may be in contact with for the foreseeable future. We are ready to safely and responsibly move to the yellow phase.   

“I’ve already asked privately, so now I’ll make the request publicly. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine, it’s time to move Beaver County to yellow status.”