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PennDOT on Monday and Tuesday reopened indoor facilities at five more rest areas along Pennsylvania highways, it announced Tuesday.

The move brings the total number of PennDOT rest areas that have been reopened to 33. Rest areas statewide were shut down on March 17 in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The newly reopened rest areas include one along Interstate 70 in Washington County, as well as two locations on Interstate 81 and one each on Interstate 90 and U.S. Route 15. Previously reopened rest areas are located along Interstates 79, 80, 81, 83, 84 and 90.

“While unnecessary travel is discouraged as we all do our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we understand that some trips are necessary and that access to the rest areas is important,” PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian said on March 24.

Extra cleaning and maintenance is to be performed at all reopened rest areas. Tourism services are not available. PennDOT said Tuesday it will continue to evaluate the situation to determine whether more rest areas can be reopened.

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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