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HARRISBURG — State officials will allow 13 counties in the Pittsburgh region to ease coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and residents next week, a coveted step toward reopening that took effect Friday in much of northwest and north-central Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Friday that Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties will be able to move into the “yellow phase” of his tiered reopening plan on May 15.

They will join two dozen counties that were previously given the go-ahead to loosen some restrictions.

“We are closely monitoring the 24 counties in the yellow phase and we will reimpose restrictions if danger arises," Wolf said at a Friday news conference. “We’re also watching other counties and are moving them into the yellow phase as soon as we can."