PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 143 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 26,400. Of note, this increase in cases is associated with a periodic matching of state databases.
The Department of Public Health noted continued progress in congregate settings, including nursing homes and the Department of Prisons. Current and cumulative totals of both symptomatic and asymptomatic positive cases in Philadelphia prisons are now posted on the testing and data page of the City’s COVID-19 website.
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 1,614. Of the 1,614 total deaths, 830 (51%) were long-term care facility residents.
“We are averaging about 110 new cases per day in the past week,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “About a third of these new cases are in people under age 30, and some are in people who have traveled to the shore. We urge residents to take caution if they plan to visit shore points this holiday weekend. Philadelphia residents should be consistent in wearing masks when around others, safely distancing from each other, and wash their hands frequently.”
Heat Guidance: In advance of the holiday weekend, City officials today offered guidance for residents of proper precautions during summer heat. “Some of this guidance is what we offer each year, but obviously the restrictions created by the threat of COVID-19 make this summer unlike any other,” said Managing Director Brian Abernathy. “Philadelphia traditionally has an extensive heat response system that has been nationally recognized. Our goal this summer is to maintain as many elements of that as possible despite the COVID restrictions.”
Current options for residents to stay cool include Spraygrounds and Playstreets:
- On Monday, July 6, 2020 the city will turn on spraygrounds and spray features at 91 Parks & Recreation facilities. Spraygrounds will be open to the public weekdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. and 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. Residents can find their nearest sprayground here.
- Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will offer “Cooling Kits” to residents at 100 Playstreets youth meal sites in areas of the City most impacted by the heat island effect. Cooling kits will include umbrellas, tents, cooling rags, and mister fans.
Abernathy stressed that plans are being developed for offering help on days when the heat is the most intense, such as a Code Red emergency or the more dangerous Heat Health Emergency. “We are currently in the process of determining how we can safely open facilities such as libraries and PCA senior centers during those heat events,” he said. “We are working with our partners, including the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, on balancing the social distancing needs imposed by the pandemic against the health risks of prolonged exposure to heat. Because the pandemic is an evolving situation, we will be providing specific details when we are closer to a potential Heat Health Emergency. We will, however, make sure those who need somewhere to go, have somewhere to go.”
Abernathy and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley reminded residents of the importance of having a plan in place in advance of a heatwave. Residents who have the option of air conditioning are also reminded that they may be eligible for the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be accepting applications for its Recovery Crisis Program through August 31, or until funds are exhausted — whichever comes first. In addition, utilities have extended their moratorium on shut-offs. PECO is extending its support policies, which include suspending non-payment service disconnections, waiving new late fees, and reconnecting customers who were previously disconnected, until further notice.
Safe Ways to Enjoy the Water this Summer: As the summer days get longer and hotter, young people are looking for ways to stay cool and have fun in the water. Swimming in Philadelphia’s rivers, streams, and creeks is illegal and extremely dangerous. Even expert swimmers can get hurt from strong currents and underwater debris. To learn more, read this blog.
Testing Site Map: A testing site finder at phila.gov/testing helps people find a free COVID-19 test in Philadelphia. Anyone can search for a site by address, click on a map location for specific site information, and filter by day of week and by drive-thru or walk-up.
- City’s COVID-19 homepage: phila.gov/covid-19.
- COVID-19 resources translated into 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.
- Businesses with questions about reopening using the Department of Public Health’s guidelines should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic.
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