Although Memorial Day Weekend is quickly approaching, it “will be unlike any previous” one, according to Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney. Kenney urges Philadelphia residents to avoid breaking social distancing.
“We have made a lot of progress thanks to the willingness of just about everyone to step up,” Kenney said. “Case counts are lower and testing is now more readily available. The last thing we want to see at this point is a holiday weekend wiping out all that progress.”
City services and offices will be closed for Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 25. Testing sites and city district health centers will be closed. Food pantries will also have different schedules next week. In order to find a nearby food pantry, residents can call 311 or send their zip code to 1-800-548-6479. This also includes trash and recycling, which will not be collected until Tuesday for those with Monday collections.
Parks and trails will be open; however, large gatherings of any kind are not allowed. To avoid overfilled trash cans, Mayor Kenney recommends that residents bring their own garbage bags. Residents must follow social distancing guidelines.
Even though the daily numbers are falling overall, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Dr. Thomas Farley, had some “sad news” to report. He reported 103 new deaths within the last 24 hours which he says is attributed to a weekly matching of typically delayed death certificates to previously reported cases.
“Each day, we get information about people who may have died in the previous day or two and were tested at the time we count those, but then about once a week we take the database we have of previously reported cases and we match it up against the database of death certificates,” Farley said.
227 new cases were reported as well, showing a total of 20,359 cases and 1,152 deaths. 54% of the deaths reported were from nursing homes. There have been no new reported cases in jails, as of Wednesday.
“The peak of the epidemic is worse than we had estimated before and the total number of deaths is higher than we had estimated before,” Farley said.
With more COVID-19 tests available and 47 testing sites, city officials want residents to utilize them.
“We are now really encouraging anyone at any age who has respiratory symptoms, new respiratory symptoms to come in and get a test,” Farley said.