What to know
- Philadelphia will end indoor eating, close gyms and museums, and restrict indoor gatherings from Friday, Nov. 20. The restrictions will last for six weeks.
- Outdoor meetings will have new restrictions on people and food and drink will not be allowed. Youth sports must stop the game.
- Early childhood education and care can continue to work in person with strict safety protocols.
Philadelphia announced new restrictions on the coronavirus on Monday, aimed at combating the lack of wearing masks and social distancing indoors in public spaces, restaurants, gyms and private homes.
The restrictions take the city back to the bans imposed during the spring tide of COVID-1
Outsourcing, delivery and outdoor feeding with some new restrictions may continue to work. Hair salons and barbers will be able to continue to operate under existing restrictions.
The last few weeks in Philadelphia have seen a sharp rise in new COVID-19 infections, from nearly 400 new infections on Nov. 4 to more than 1,100 on Nov. 13. In the city as a whole, the death toll from the disease is over 1,900 since a pandemic began. It has been confirmed that more than 55,000 people have had the disease and more than 1,900 people have died.
“Unfortunately, the epidemic is approaching its worst,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, on Monday afternoon. The current positive rate for COVID-19 is 13.4%, and the average number of new cases has risen by 700% in the past two months, officials said.
The number of confirmed daily cases doubles approximately every three weeks, Farley said.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said city leaders were reluctant to impose restrictions, but saving lives was paramount.
“Obviously we don’t enjoy doing this, but we can’t ignore the numbers and we need to take these precautions to get us back to a healthy situation,” Kenny said.
Pennsylvania has reported 9,675 new cases in the past two days, with more than 2,440 people hospitalized and 531 in the intensive care unit. Health Minister Dr Rachel Levine said on Monday that contact tracking staff had trouble providing people with details of where they had gotten their confirmed infection.
NBC News data nationwide show that the virus is spreading rapidly with more than 133,000 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. 11.1 million Americans have contracted the disease, with at least 240,300 of them losing the battle against the virus. Preliminary data from two vaccine candidates – one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna – suggest they may have a 90% + degree of efficacy, but health officials say it will actually take them months to be published to the public.
Restrictions are introduced as the holiday season approaches. Public health experts fear that family gatherings for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Quanza, Christmas and New Year will only accelerate the spread of the virus even more.
Many medical experts cited smaller gatherings, such as in homes and around kitchen tables, as major events for dissemination due to lack of mask wearing and appropriate social distancing.
Philadelphia’s restrictions are focused on reducing the ability of people to stay indoors with people who are not from their household and where they should remove their face masks.
Farley said contact tracking showed the virus was “spreading a little everywhere” through various settings.
Left undisturbed, Farley and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said the city could see more than 3,000 new infections a day and that hospital capacity would be exceeded by the end of the year.
The number of people hospitalized in the city on Monday is higher than in April – three weeks after a complete stop at that time.
“We can fully exceed the hospital capacity of the entire city by the end of 2020,” Farley said, adding that the modeling shows that between 700 and 1,400 people could die by the end of 2020.
Farley said that while the restrictions apply only to Philadelphia, he called on colleagues in the counties around the city in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to take similar measures, as many people travel between them and often city hospitals serve surrounding communities.
On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reduced the limits of indoor and outdoor gatherings across the state as cases increased in the garden.
Here is a breakdown of the new restrictions on COVID-19 with a duration of Friday, November 20, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021.
Internal gatherings of any size, in any place, public or private, are prohibited
- There are no indoor parties, group meals, watching sports events as a group
- There is no visit between households
- There are no indoor weddings, funerals or baby showers
Outdoor collection is limited in size and there is no food or drink
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10% employment or 10 people per 1,000 square feet. a limit of 2,000 people in very large spaces
- No food or drink can be served to ensure that people wear their masks at all times
Following Monday’s announcement, the Philadelphia Eagles said fans would no longer be eligible in the stands during Lincoln Finance Field’s home games.
The indoor restaurant in the restaurant must complete and new changes to outdoor dining
- Indoor restaurants in restaurants must stop
While restaurants have worked hard to comply with precautions, the risk of people indoors during cold weather without masks is too high, officials said.
- The outdoor table will be limited to 4 seats per table and all must be from the same household to prevent the virus from spreading from one house to another.
Shopping stores can operate with limited employment
- Reduced density should be applied in retail stores
- Not more than 5 people per 1000 sq. F.
- All staff and customers must wear masks
- Stores should not serve people who do not wear a mask
Museums, theaters, gyms should be closed and youth sports should stop playing
The following companies must close or close down:
- Youth, public and school sports
- Fitness rooms
- Bowling alleys, arcade and game spaces
- Services for the elderly
Youth and municipal sports organizers are urged to stop bringing games and practices to surrounding counties that have fewer restrictions.
Religious institutions can work with reduced employment
- Celebration of services is allowed, but with a reduced density of 5% or 5 people per 1000 square feet.
- Online worship is encouraged
Continue working from home where possible
- Workspaces are asked to continue to allow staff to work from home unless their work can be performed in this environment.
Online training for colleges and high schools only
- Only virtual education will be allowed for colleges, universities and high schools until January 1, 2021.
Childcare and access centers, primary and secondary schools will be allowed to continue to carry out personal activities with strict safety protocols, including universal wearing of masks and social distancing.
The Philadelphia school district plans to return some students to the classrooms in the coming days, but has put the decision on hold after this recent jump in cases.
City officials say they know there is a lower risk of children becoming seriously ill if they become infected and that early childhood education is paramount. In addition, key workers need childcare. They point to the success observed in Europe, where schools have been allowed to remain open while reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Kenny said he and city officials understand the new restrictions will be devastating to businesses, and called on federal and state leaders to provide incentives to keep people afloat and help the city fight the virus.
“We hope that Congress, sooner or later, probably sooner, will come up with a rescue package for the American people to tackle this problem,” Kenny said. “We can’t just deal with it on our own as a city.”
Kenny would not rule out the complete cessation of insignificant businesses if their number continues to grow. “We are trying to do this in steps,” the mayor said.
The following companies have the right to work under the current restrictions on the coronavirus, the city said:
- Grocery stores and farmers’ markets
- Home construction, renovation, repair and maintenance
- Production and storage
- Real estate operations and transactions
- Health care
- Home support services, such as home health services
- Taxis and shared travel services
- Open mobile carts and food trucks
- Events in which people remain in their vehicles
- Day care for children and early learning centers
- Primary and secondary schools
- Access centers for children in primary and secondary schools
Coronavirus death in your city and state – and in the United States
These charts use daily data on coronavirus death from Johns Hopkins University to show the seven-day creeping average mortality at city, state, and state levels.
The effects of the coronavirus vary greatly in the United States from one place to another.