Tuesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot for the Pennsylvania primary. The primary was pushed back to June 2 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Philadelphia will have nearly 80% fewer polling places for the primary, with many voting locations being moved. While the city had more than 800 polling locations during the last presidential election, city commissioners plan to approve just 188 locations.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be able for voters to receive upon entrance to polling places, although it is not yet known what specific PPE will be distributed. There will also be stickers on the ground, the same kind seen in grocery stores, to keep people socially distant from one another.
With fewer polling places, there will be fewer poll workers and the locations are expected to have longer lines.
To apply for those ballots, click here. You can also turn in your application in a mailbox on the south side of City Hall next to the Octavius Catto statue.
On Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Farley and Mayor Jim Kenney signed a new amendment allowing restaurants and food trucks to accept in-person orders. All customers must abide by social distancing regulations, wear face coverings and are encouraged to wait outside for their food. The restaurant is not allowed to have more than 10 customers in line. This is “the first step toward a new normal,” Dr. Farley added.
Over the holiday weekend, there were sightings around the Art Museum, Rittenhouse Square, and Cecil B. Moore Avenue of people not abiding by social distancing and personal protective measures. Mayor Kenney says that wearing a mask and abiding by social distancing guidelines is a “simple sacrifice.”
“If some people don’t want to be responsible, then they’re going to be responsible for the death of senior citizens…I still can’t understand why [wearing a mask is] such a burden,” Mayor Kenney added.
As of Tuesday, there have been 97 new cases, bringing the total to 21,738, the first time Philadelphia has seen double-digit case numbers since the start of the pandemic. Dr. Farley says it is possible to credit this to the lack of testing on Memorial Day, but adds that it is still a positive sign. There are no new cases in jails. 439 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are in Philadelphia hospitals and 891 patients are within the region. There have been 8 new deaths, with 53% of the total coming from nursing home residents.
If anyone who does not have symptoms of the coronavirus, but has a known or suspected exposure within 7 days, you can now get a test for COVID-19. There are 50 sites in Philadelphia, click this link to find the nearest site to you.