PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 339 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 9,553. This large increase over Sunday’s total is partially attributed to a backlog in lab testing; some labs do not report results over the weekend, and it is not clear if the City has received all backlogged results.
The Department of Public Health again noted clusters of positive cases in congregate settings, including nursing homes, behavioral health facilities, and the Department of Prisons. Three additional inmates have tested positive. The current total of positive cases at correctional facilities is 56.
The Department of Public Health confirmed five additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 370. Of the 370 total deaths, and 193 (52%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 923 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,737 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).
The COVID Surge Facility-Liacouras Center (CSF-Liacouras Center) began receiving its first patients today from area medical facilities that are at capacity for beds generally and ICU beds in particular. The facility has been constructed to treat patients 18 and older who are COVID-positive and have been improving in area hospitals, but need additional time to fully recover before they can return home. All of the patients transferred to CSF-Liacouras Center are in the final stages of recovery from COVID-19.
“We’ve seen a consistent increase in admissions to area hospitals because of the virus,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “We continue to work closely with hospitals in the Philadelphia area to ensure that all patients receive quality care. It’s become clear that treating some patients at the CSF-Liacouras Center will help these hospitals continue to do that. We again thank Temple University for providing the facility and for its tremendous support throughout this process.”
Further information on the COVID Surge Facility-Liacouras Center is available here.
Earth Week 2020 (#EarthWeekPHL): The City of Philadelphia kicks off its virtual Earth Week today. Virtual programming includes Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Parks & Rec @ Home series and the release of the Office of Sustainability’s Greenworks Review, which celebrates successes of the past year—with a special focus on engaging youth—and provides resources to help support further action. This online activation builds upon Parks & Recreation’s environmental education programs and the Office of Sustainability’s community engagement work, which introduce young people to the wonders of nature, the importance of caring for the planet, and the power of their environmental advocacy. For a full list of Earth Week events, activities and webinars, visit phila.gov/green.
Celebrate Library Week (April 19-25) Virtually: While library buildings remain closed, the Free Library of Philadelphia continues to provide access to many materials and databases, thanks to its already robust collection of electronic resources. Customers can check out ebooks and stream movies and music at freelibrary.org/digitalmedia. Visit freelibrary.org/elearning to find study materials, learn a language, or take an online class. If customers need assistance, tips, or recommendations, librarians are still ready to serve, and can be reached through email at freelibrary.org/ask and can also be reached via text message. Send a text to 66746 and start the body of the text with keyword askfree then a space, followed by a question.
The Free Library of Philadelphia has always welcomed its customers into its buildings to share information, build community, and learn together. Now, many customers are instead welcoming the Library into their homes through virtual programs. There are a number of virtual story times, lectures, author events, and other programs taking place on our website. See the full selection at freelibrary.org/virtualprograms.
PES Mercaptan Removal: The Office of Emergency Management cautions residents that today, Monday, April 20, operators of the shuttered Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery will remove supplies of Mercaptan, a gas used as an odorant, that smells like cabbage. Mercaptan is not hazardous. Today’s procedure could cause an odor to be generated that might be noticeable by residents in the area.
Testing Sites: The City-run location in Center City continues to serve those who are over the age of 50 and are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as health care workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus. The site is available by appointment only and a referral is required. Those who meet the criteria and want a test can call (267) 491-5870 to obtain a referral.
There are also more than 20 private testing sites across the city run by hospital systems and other organizations.
- City’s COVID-19 homepage: phila.gov/covid-19.
- COVID-19 resources translated in multiple languages.
- Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: 1 (800) 722-7112.
- Residents can text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to get updates sent to their phones.
- Find out more about testing for COVID-19.
- Updates and guidance for Philadelphia employees and employers.
- Information and resources for workers.
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic.
- For Businesses:
- Financial support and additional resources for businesses can be found here.
- Business owners or managers who have questions about the restrictions in the City’s latest Business Activity and Stay at Home Order can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- L&I guidance on construction work following City Business Activity and Stay at Home Order.
- The City is extending filing and payment dates for Real Estate and some business taxes.
Resources for Media:
- Recordings of COVID-19 daily briefings. (Subtitles available in multiple languages)
- COVID-19 press releases.