City Officials Discuss Holiday Weekend, Heat Guidance, Safe Reopening for Businesses

In Thursday’s press briefing, the Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia discussed COVID-19 updates in advance of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. The Department of Public Health announced 143 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 26,400. Five additional COVID-19 fatalities were also reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,614. Of these deaths, 830 were residents of long-term care facilities.

Over the past week, the city has averaged 110 new cases per day, with about a third being in people under the age of 30. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley urged people travelling for the holiday weekend to wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands frequently.

The City also announced that they will be opening Spraygrounds and Playstreets to help people keep cool and stay safe from dangerous summer heat. Starting July 6, spraygrounds will open to the public at 91 Parks & Recreation facilities. They will be open from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on  weekdays and 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. “Cooling Kits”—consisting of umbrellas, tents, cooling rags, and mister fans—will also be available at 100 Playstreets youth meal facilities in the city.

To prepare for rising heat levels, the City is developing protocols so they are able to implement either a Code Red Emergency or a Heat Health Emergency if they become necessary. They are working with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging to ensure that people who need shelter from the heat will be able to get it, while also complying with social distancing guidelines.

City officials are also working with North Broad Renaissance (NBR) to provide support for businesses planning to reopen during Pennsylvania’s Green Phase. Their campaign, Reopened with Care, aims to help businesses follow government health recommendations for safe reopening. Some procedures put in place as part of the plan include an online pledge to follow the Reopened with Care standard, personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution to businesses, and a digital toolkit where businesses can download social distancing and safety posters to hang in their establishment. The campaign also plans to work with the public to help assure customers that the businesses they patron are complying with established safety guidelines.

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