What to Know
- Philadelphia will cease indoor dining, close gyms and museums and restrict indoor gatherings inside homes starting Friday, Nov. 20. The restrictions are set to last for six weeks.
- Outdoor gatherings will have new people limits and food and drink will not be allowed. Youth sports must end play.
- Early childhood education and childcare can continue to operate in-person with strict safety protocols.
Philadelphia announced new coronavirus restrictions on Monday that aim to combat a lack of mask wearing and social distancing indoors at public spaces, restaurants, gyms and inside private homes.
The restrictions roll the city back to prohibitions that were put in place during the spring COVID-19 surge. Under the restrictions that will go into effect on Friday, indoor parties and dining will be nixed; fitness centers, museums and libraries will be closed; and eating and drinking will not be allowed at outdoor gatherings. We have a full breakdown of the new restrictions below.
Take out, delivery and outdoor dining with some new limitations are allowed to continue operating. Hair salons and barbers will be allowed to continue operating with the current restrictions in place.
Philadelphia has seen a precipitous rise in new COVID-19 infections over the past few weeks – going from nearly 400 new infections on Nov. 4 to more than 1,100 on Nov. 13. Overall in the city, fatalities from the disease topped 1,900 since the pandemic began. More than 55,000 residents were confirmed to have had the disease and more than 1,900 people have died.
“Unfortunately the epidemic is approaching its worst,” Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said on Monday. The current positivity rate is 13% and officials said there’s been a 700% rise in new cases in the past two months.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said city leaders do not enjoy putting the restrictions in place, but that saving lives is paramount.
Pennsylvania reported 9,675 new cases over the past two days with more than 2,440 people being hospitalized and 531 of those in an intensive care unit. Pa. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said on Monday that contact tracing staff are having trouble getting people to provide details about where they’ve been leading up to their confirmed infection.
Nationwide, NBC News data shows the virus is being spread rapidly with more than 133,000 newly confirmed cases in the past 24 hours. 11.1 million Americans have contracted the disease with at least 240,300 of those people losing the battle against the virus.
The restrictions are being put into place as the holiday season nears. Public health experts fear family gatherings for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s will only accelerate the virus’ spread even further.
Many medical experts have pointed to smaller gatherings, like inside homes and around kitchen tables, as prime spreading events because of a lack of mask wearing and proper social distancing.
Philadelphia’s restrictions are focused on reducing opportunities for people to linger indoors and where they’d have to remove their face masks.
Left unmitigated, Farley and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the…