PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 157 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 28,024.
The Department of Public Health confirmed 18 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,664. Of the 1,664 total deaths, 863 (51%) were long-term care facility residents. 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.
Gyms in Philadelphia Set to Reopen Next Week: The Department of Public Health announced that gyms in Philadelphia will be able to reopen on Monday, July 20. Due to the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 in indoor gyms, they will be required to follow strict guidelines for safe reopening. Among the new rules, gyms will be required to have everyone in the building masked and maintain a six-foot distance throughout their visit. Classes will be required to have fewer than 10 people, and outdoor exercise is encouraged. The Health Department will be conducting proactive inspections, as well as inspections in response to complaints. These inspections will be unscheduled and unannounced. If people are not masked during an inspection, the gym will be closed. If spread of COVID is identified in a gym, it will be closed. Gyms will be notified of the new requirements and inspections by letter. The Health Department’s recommendation to gym-goers is if you find it difficult to exercise with a mask on, don’t go to the gym; your actions could shut down the entire gym.
Restore and Reopen Program Grants Awarded: The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with The Merchants Fund, today announced that 171 businesses were awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants from the Restore and Reopen program. The program, first announced on June 15, provides grants to small, independently-owned businesses that have suffered property damage, vandalism, or inventory losses during the recent civil unrest—with a focus on those in historically disadvantaged communities.
“Philadelphia’s small businesses are the anchors of neighborhoods across our city—providing jobs, goods, and services for residents,” said Sylvie Gallier Howard, Acting Commerce Director. “It has been devastating to see the impact on Philadelphia workers and our local businesses from the months-long shutdown required to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the damage caused during recent civil unrest only added to their challenges. It was critical that we act quickly to ensure impacted businesses—particularly those serving our most vulnerable communities—were supported so that residents can continue to access goods and services in their neighborhoods.”
The awardees are businesses that were impacted by the civil unrest and are located in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates. The selected businesses will receive grants of up to $10,000 for repairs, renovations, losses to inventory, and other costs incurred. More than 90 percent of businesses receiving grants are minority-owned.
“Once we saw our local businesses’ need for immediate support, we engaged our partners across the city to ensure that every commercial corridor and local nonprofit were made aware of the Restore and Reopen program,” said Jill Fink, Executive Director of The Merchants Fund. “While we’re proud of the impact this program will have on our local small businesses, we also hope to raise even more funding to meet more of our communities’ needs.”
The program received a total of 332 applications from businesses located in neighborhoods across the city. To be eligible for a grant, businesses needed to have less than $2 million in annual revenue, be independently owned, and occupy a storefront, retail, or commercial space in Philadelphia, which included kiosks. Eligible businesses were further evaluated to assess the extent of the damage and their location in high-need and hard-hit communities—prioritizing historically disadvantaged communities.
A preliminary list of businesses that received awards can be found here; businesses are in the process of finalizing grant agreements. The Barra Foundation generously supported this program with a $50,000 contribution. The Merchants Fund, in concert with the Department of Commerce, continues to seek additional funding for this program; if new funding is secured, there are 46 additional businesses in areas with a poverty rate of 25 percent or greater that would be eligible to receive grants, leaving a funding gap of approximately $350,000.
Mural Mile Center City Walking Tours Return: Mural Arts Philadelphia announced the return of the Mural Arts Center City Mural Mile Walking Tour, featuring professionally-trained guides who offer a behind-the-scenes look and share the in-depth stories about the people and communities that inspired and shaped each Mural Arts Philadelphia project. The walking tour departs from outside the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Hamilton Building at 128 N. Broad Street, and visits twelve murals along the route. Safety precautions for Mural Arts Tours will include mandatory masks for participation in the tour, with a maximum of 10 guests per tour. Tickets must be purchased in advance on the Mural Arts website, muralarts.org/tours.
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 email@example.com.
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic.
Resources for Media:
- Recordings of COVID-19 briefings (Subtitles available in multiple languages).
- COVID-19 press releases.