PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 228 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 29,102.
The Department of Public Health confirmed two additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,675. Of the 1,675 total deaths, 855 (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.
Outdoor Dining Reminders: Since the City started processing applications on June 15, 384 sidewalk cafés and streeteries have been approved and 21 temporary use approvals for expanding dining onto private property (such as parking lots) were issued. These approvals are in addition to the more than 250 businesses with existing sidewalk café licenses.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today reminded restaurant operators and their customers about the importance of properly following all outdoor dining guidance. “We continue to believe that indoor dining is unsafe right now,” he said. “But restaurant dining can be done safely outdoors, provided that restaurants follow the precautions we’ve outlined. While our inspectors are out there checking to make sure that restaurants are following the rules, we need the public’s help. If a restaurant is not following the rules, or is operating in an unsafe manner, don’t patronize them. Instead, go to one of the many restaurants that are following the rules and keeping their patrons safe.”
Businesses without existing permits, and those who wish to expand their existing outdoor dining footprint, can apply for one of four potential outdoor dining options based on their location:
- Sidewalk Café — Allows for daily use of sidewalk area in front of the business for restaurant seating.
- Streetery — Allows for curbside parking at street level (or platform built on the street) to be converted into outdoor dining or take-away area for food and beverages.
- Temporary use of private lots for dining — Allows restaurants to convert spaces in their adjacent parking lots into restaurant seating and to place seating onto vacant lots in most commercial and mixed-use zoning districts.
- Temporary street closure — Pilot program that allows for temporary closure of certain streets for restaurant seating. (Partial street closures and extended parking lane use for block-long streeteries are also available under this category.)
Regardless of which outdoor dining option businesses adopt, they must follow existing social distancing and public safety measures, as outlined in guidance by the Department of Public Health for restaurants and the specific guidance for outdoor dining. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Spacing tables, and the backs of all chairs (when seated), a minimum of six feet apart.
- Maintaining pedestrian and traffic safety, including a clear path (six feet wide) of travel for pedestrian flow.
- Maintaining clear access to public utilities, fire hydrants, building entrances, crosswalks, and transit stops.
- Restricting total people on premises to the current maximum gathering size allowed by Health (currently 50), inclusive of guests and front of house staff.
Full guidance for operating outdoor dining is available on the City’s “Reopening with Care” webpage. Updates continue to be made to the guidance as the City incorporates feedback from restaurants and partner agencies.
SWEEP teams from the Streets Department continue to fan out across the City to provide information to restaurants with sidewalk cafés and streeteries, and deliver warnings to those that are not compliant. In addition, the Health Department’s Office of Food Protection reviews compliance with outdoor dining requirements during its standard inspection process. L&I assists with heightened enforcement efforts against repeat offenders as needed. Failure to adhere to City regulations can result in a fine of up to $2,000, and a cease operations order can be issued.
School District of Philadelphia’s Digital Academy: The School District of Philadelphia has opened registration for its Digital Academy, an option that will allow students to engage in digital learning 100 percent of the time while still connected to their assigned home school. This option is a part of Advancing Education Safely, the District’s comprehensive plan for a safe and successful 2020-2021 school year.
The Digital Academy option is designed for Kindergarten through 12th grade students currently enrolled in a District-led school. The program is five full days, Monday through Friday, and will allow for students to learn remotely rather than engage in the hybrid model, where students will receive in-person instruction two days a week and digital instruction three days a week once the school year starts. Students who utilize only the digital learning option will continue to receive school-level virtual services and support, implemented by the staff at the students’ home school, including tele-counseling, tele-services, virtual assemblies, virtual field trips, and after-school activities.
Any student who is enrolled in the Digital Academy must commit to a minimum of the first two terms of the 2020-2021 school year; the earliest opportunity to transition to the hybrid model (two day of in-person instruction and three days of digital instruction) will be January 2021. The deadline to begin the application process for the Digital Academy is Tuesday, August 4. If you do not opt-in to the Digital Academy model, your child will automatically be part of the hybrid model and would have to wait until January to make the transition from the hybrid to fully virtual option.
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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