PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 637 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 98,215. In addition, the Department of Public Health also announced 181 new probable cases from rapid antigen tests.
The Department of Public Health confirmed 37 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 2,640. Of the 2,640 total deaths, 1,041 (39%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 616 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 91 on ventilators.
COVID-19 Restrictions: City officials announced today that a number of current business and activity restrictions will be lifted beginning Saturday, January 16. They are as follows:
- Indoor dining will be allowed with a cap on the number of diners set at 25 percent of the seating capacity.
- Theaters and performance spaces will be allowed with a cap on the total number of attendees, including staff, of 10 percent maximum occupancy. If the maximum occupancy is unknown, allow 10 persons per 1,000 square feet. Everyone in attendance must be masked, and no food or drink is allowed.
- Colleges will be allowed to resume in-person classes.
The following businesses and activities are still restricted under the City’s protocols:
- Senior day services, such as senior centers and adult day cares.
- Indoor catered events.
- Indoor gatherings, including in the home.
Full guidance documents on each of the newly allowed businesses and activities will be posted on the City’s COVID-19 website soon.
Vaccine Prioritization: The Department of Public Health has published the City’s priority populations for vaccine distribution, covering Phases 1a, 1b, 1c, and 2. This list was developed using guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the City’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, which is comprised of 40 local academic and health care experts, and community leaders. The goal of the Vaccine Advisory Committee is to ensure that the vaccine is distributed in Philadelphia in the most equitable fashion with special attention to differing risks of different populations.
- Phase 1a, which the city is currently in, includes health care workers and residents and staff of nursing homes.
- Phase 1b will include first responders, service providers working with high-risk populations, public transit, food workers, childcare and education providers, high-volume essential retail workers, and those who manufacture critical goods. Also included in this phase are those at a high-risk of morbidity or mortality—including people who live and work in congregate residential settings, people over the age of 75, and those living with high-risk medical conditions.
- Phase 1c will include sanitation workers, maintenance/janitorial workers, utility workers, postal and package delivery workers, those who work in higher education, finance, transportation, construction, IT & telecommunications, public health, and legal professions. Also included in this phase are those at a high-risk morbidity or mortality—including people between the ages of 65 and 74.
- Phase 2 will attempt to vaccinate everyone older than 16 years of age who was not previously immunized.
Detailed descriptions of each of the priority groups is available on the City’s COVID-19 website.
School District Meal Site Update: Beginning on Friday, January 15, the School District of Philadelphia will distribute student meals at 39 new locations throughout the city. This brings the total number of free student meal sites—including School District and charter school locations—to 130.
Students or caregivers can pick up meals for the week at 102 District-run schools and 28 charter schools serving as student meal sites. These sites will provide meals to any student. Meal pick-up times vary by site. However, many sites are open on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to accommodate the District’s academic schedule.
Families are encouraged to confirm locations and schedules by visiting phila.gov/food or calling 311. Student ID numbers are not required.
Free Library of Philadelphia Update: Today, the Free Library announced that 20 locations will resume in-building services starting Tuesday, January 19.These services include borrowing and returning materials, access to computers and Wi-Fi, printing, reference desk services, and more.
Patrons can find a full list of services offered by each neighborhood library at freelibrary.org/locations and can ask about their local libraries by calling 1-833-TALK FLP (825-5357).
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 how to comply with the City’s restrictions 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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