Local Business, Residents Emerge from Virus Lockdown

SANATOGA PA – Lower Pottsgrove businesses tentatively reopened during the weekend (June 5-7, 2020), along with those in the rest of Montgomery County, as they began emerging from coronavirus lock-down.

For the first time since mid-March a small crowd of cars driven by bargain seekers filled parking spaces outside Liberty Thrift’s largest store, in Sanatoga Village Center on East High Street. Just across the road, a series of curbside flags fluttered in bright sun and a light breeze to welcome hungry patrons back to Basilico Pizzeria-Trattoria.

Those sights and more across the township were made possible by residents themselves, according to its emergency management coordinator, Ray Lopez. During the Board of Commissioners‘ virtual meeting Thursday (June 4), Lopez praised those living here for “having done a tremendous job to flatten the curve” and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Their willingness to stay at home when required, to wear face masks as necessary, and to adhere to social distancing guidelines made a big difference in helping to move the county from Pennsylvania’s most restrictive “red phase” and into its slightly loosened “yellow phase”, he noted. But he urged caution, too. Until the township reaches the least restrictive “green phase,” Lopez added, it’s not yet in the clear.

Lower Pottsgrove remains under the 90-day local emergency disaster declaration commissioners issued during April at the suggestion of state officials, he noted. It gives the township continued ability “to monitor economic and public health data” and “provide support and assistive guidance” until the yellow phase is over, according to Lopez. Its eventual end will be a sure indication things have significantly improved, he added.

Police activity during the lock-down

The township Police Department has gradually begun seeing limited freedom of personal movement reflected in its statistics, Lt. Wil James reported to board members. There were 778 calls for police services during March, he said. As the lock-down took fuller effect during April, the number of calls dropped 7 percent to 720, but then rose 13 percent during May to 817, he said.

More dramatically the number of criminal violations the department handled during March, 49, dived 69 percent to only 15 in April, and then rose again to 51 in May, James said. Commissioners can expect heightened vigilance from department officers in coming weeks to keep potential problems controlled, he added.

Commissioners’ next meeting

The board is next scheduled to meet June 25 (Thursday) at 7 p.m., again in a virtual session on the Zoom conferencing platform, commissioners’ President Bruce Foltz observed. Assuming things go well for coronavirus control after that, board members might resume live meetings at the municipal building.

Photo by User 12019 via Pixabay, used under license