In Thursday’s press briefing, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced there are 157 new cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 28,024. There have been 18 new fatalities, bringing the total number to 1,664. The city has been averaging 110 new cases per day. However, Dr. Farley also stated that cases may be rising more dramatically than the numbers show, as there have been reporting delays of up to seven days from testing facilities in the area.
The Department of Public Health announced that gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen in Philadelphia starting Monday, July 20. They will have to adhere to strict safety protocol in accordance with state guidelines, including mandatory masks and six feet of distance between patrons. In addition, gyms will be expected to limit classes to ten people, and encourage outdoor exercise when possible. The Department of Public Health will be conducting unannounced inspections of gyms and fitness centers that choose to open, and if they are found in violation of these guidelines, they may face closure by the Department.
The Health Department also discussed new guidelines for school reopenings in the fall. Philadelphia public schools are considering splitting students into rotating groups, one which attends school Mondays and Wednesdays and another which attends Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the collegiate level, local colleges and universities have submitted their reopening plans for review by the Department. Over the coming weeks, the Department will work to ensure that schools are reopening in a way that adheres to state and federal health guidelines.