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Centre County re-opening going well, so far

BELLEFONTE — Centre County has moved from red to yellow.

Although the county is just days into being in the yellow phase, things are going well — thus far, Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe said at Tuesday’s commissioners’ meeting.

“The fact that we’re not in the red phase, we’re in the yellow phase, I think we really want to be mindful of what it looks like in that phase. We’re literally five days into it,” Pipe said.

Pipe said that it’s too early to tell just how long the county will remain in yellow.

“If we see the disease spread … which could take up to two to three weeks to see if there has been a spread … we want to be very, very mindful of that. We want to be thankful we’re in the yellow phase but not get too complacent. We want to still be very vigilant and our citizens are doing that right now,” Pipe said.

Pipe was asked about moving from yellow to green. He said that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has not provided guidelines for what has to happen to take that next step.

“Not at this point, no timeline at this point. It would be safe to say that we want to see as few cases as possible, as few hospitalizations as possible, as few deaths as possible. But, again, they have not given any guidance,” Pipe said.

Centre County was one of 24 counties to move from red to yellow last Friday. In the yellow phase, certain retail businesses opened, but many non-essential businesses remained closed.

Pipe said that contact tracing will be critical for the county to make the move from yellow to green down the road.

“Here in Centre County, we do have the benefit of having Mount Nittany (Medical Center) partnering with Penn State and Geisinger as well doing their contact tracing. Those have been beneficial for us in central Pennsylvania,” Pipe said.

As of noon Tuesday, a total of 122 Centre County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Nearly 1,300 residents have tested negative and there have been two confirmed deaths as a result of the virus.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners approved several contracts:

— A change order with general construction contractor J.C. Orr and Son, Inc. for the Centre County Courthouse Renovation Project. This change order in the amount of $2,512.33 is to fill in the gap exposed after removal of fin tube radiation from the exterior walls. Increasing the contract total from $644,698 to $647,210.33.

— A renewal with Mahaffey Laboratory LLC for laboratory testing services of waste effluent at the Centre County Correctional Facility at a rate of $106 per occurrence. Contract total is estimated at $10,600 for the period of April 9, 2020 through April 8, 2025.

— Quarterly reports with Children and Youth Services for the period of July 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

— A contract with CDW-G to provide Duo Security, a multi-factor authentication application used to enhance cyber security. The contract total is $18,360 for the period of May 19, 2020 through May 18, 2021.

— Professional liability insurance policy for the district attorney’s office through NDAA Insurance Services. The total premium is $27,975 for the period of June 6, 2020 through June 6, 2021.

The change order with J.C. Orr and Son, Inc. was approved immediately as were the quarterly reports with CYS. All of the other items were moved to next week’s consent agenda.

Additionally, the board approved proclamations No. 10 and No. 11 of 2020. No. 10 proclaims May 12-13 as Centre Gives Days in Centre County. No. 11 proclaims May 2020 as Mental Health Awareness Month in Centre County. The board watched video presentations from both Centre Gives and the Jana Marie Foundation.

The board will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19. The meeting will be televised live on C-NET.

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