By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Stay-at-home orders in the Philadelphia area have been extended until June 4, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday. The decision comes as portions of the state move into the “yellow phase” of the reopening plan.

However, it appears southeast Pennsylvania will remain in the red phase for nearly another month.

Health officials have long said the densely-populated area would be among the last in the state to reopen, even as Philadelphia officials point to encouraging trends in the fight against COVID-19.

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Twenty-four counties in the northcentral and northwest regions of the state will begin the yellow phase Friday.

At the same time, the governor is planning to allow more counties with relatively few virus infections to emerge from some pandemic restrictions. He said he will reveal the names of those counties on Friday. They will join 24 counties in the lightly populated and mostly rural north where Wolf has already lifted his stay-at-home orders and allowed retailers and many other kinds of businesses to reopen beginning Friday morning.

Republicans have accused Wolf of moving too slowly to reopen Pennsylvania’s battered and largely shuttered economy.

Meanwhile, a major reopen protest is planned for Friday at Philadelphia City Hall.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)