Best Practices Around Reopening

Social distancing works and it must continue in the yellow 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. Visit and follow the three easy steps to make a no-sew mask at home. 


Stay 6 ft. apart. 


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. 


Do not participate in large gatherings and limit participation in gatherings of 25 or fewer whenever possible. 


Please get tested if you have any of the following symptoms: 



     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 



     Repeated shaking with chills 

     Muscle pain 


     Sore throat 

     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. 


To move into the green phase, we need to continue to reduce case numbers of percentage of positive cases and increase ICU capacity. 



Phase Yellow FAQ

Will my business be able to reopen?

On May 4, 2020, Governor Wolf provided guidance that details procedures businesses must follow to conduct in-person operations in counties that move to the yellow phase of reopening. Click here to view a helpful flyer with the safety procedures.



Which businesses are not permitted to open in the yellow phase?

Businesses that are not permitted to open yellow phase are:


Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and personal care services, such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy.


These facilities and businesses will be able to reopen at 50% occupancy with appointments strong encouraged in the green phase.


Entertainment, such as theaters and shopping malls.


These businesses may open at 50% occupancy in the green phase.



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.



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.



Can I hold an event with fewer than 25 people at one the parks?

Permitting for official events at a public park or facility in the City of Lancaster are not currently available for the public in the yellow phase. If this changes, we will update you right away.



Is socializing okay in the yellow phase if there are fewer than 25 people?

Gatherings of 25 people or fewer are permitted in the yellow phase but not encouraged. Social distancing is strongly recommended in the yellow and green phases to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect our most at-risk communities.



Will playground equipment and public works spaces like basketball courts be available for use?

For the yellow phase, nothing will change from the red phase.



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 25 or fewer in accordance with State guidelines for the yellow phase. Worshippers who are most at-risk to COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to join service 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?

Indoor recreation and health and wellness facilities will not be open in the yellow phase but will be able to open at a limited occupancy in the green phase.



Can I get my hair cut?

Personal care facilities like salons and barber shops will not be open in the yellow phase but will be able to open at a limited occupancy in the green phase.



Are bars and restaurants open for in-person dining?

In the yellow phase, bars and restaurants may open for outdoor dining only by strictly adhering to the requirements of the State’s guidance, including maximum occupancy limits. Takeout and delivery is still encouraged.



Will public spaces be utilized for more outdoor dining options?

Yes. The City is working to pass an Outdoor Dining Ordinance with temporary licenses that would allow the City to designate public areas for the consumption of food and beverage. The City hopes to adopt the Ordinance and put it into effect on June 5 as the County moves to yellow.



Is in-person retail permitted?

Yes, in-person retail is permitted in the yellow phase. Curbside pick-up and delivery is still preferable. Wear a mask whenever you go into these establishments to keep yourself and employees safe.



When we will be in the green phase?

We don’t have a timeline for that just yet. Other PA counties that have moved into the green phase have kept positive COVID-19 cases down, increased ICU capacity and lowered risk when it comes to population density and travel patterns