COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania are increasing at an alarming rate. “The epidemic is approaching its worst,” City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Monday.
In an effort to contain the virus, City officials announced new restrictions affecting businesses and indoor gatherings, Monday.
Starting this Friday, indoor dining in the City is prohibited. Outdoor dining is limited to households only, meaning no more than four seats at a table.
All outdoor gatherings are prohibited from serving food and beverages.
Public and private indoor gatherings of any size are also prohibited. Dr. Farley listed indoor parties, group meals, football watch parties or visiting other households as examples.
These new restrictions also affect outdoor gatherings. Capacity is limited to 10 people per 1,000 sq. ft. for small outdoor spaces. Larger outdoor spaces have to follow the same space-based capacity rules, but cannot exceed more than 2,000 people. That means Lincoln Financial Field can no longer host fans.
Colleges and high-schools cannot hold in person instruction after Friday, November 20.
Religious institutions are allowed to hold in-person gatherings following the capacity limit of five people per 1,000 sq. ft. rule.
Some businesses that were affected by the strict restrictions and closures imposed in March are not affected by this announcement.
Barber shops, salons and retail stores are permitted to stay open as long as masks requirements and a new five people per 1,000 sq. ft. capacity limit is enforced.
The restrictions announced Monday will be in place starting Friday, November 20 and last until at least January 1, 2021. Dr. Farley called on the counties surrounding Philadelphia to implement similar guidance to help slow the spread of the virus in the region.
The City says there is an average of 657 new cases per day, the highest weekly average case count for the City, ever. Hospitalizations are on the rise as well. City models predict that 1,700 deaths will occur between now and the end of the year. That’s roughly the number of deaths recorded at the start of the pandemic.
You can track the number of COVID-19 cases on campus through Temple Update’s own COVID-19 case tracking page.