On March 16, 2020, the City of Philadelphia announced its initial restrictions on all non-essential business activity and government services in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some City government operations were halted, schools closed, and businesses were required to shutter. Less than a week after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Philadelphia, the global pandemic began to change everything about the daily lives of Philadelphia residents.

The last year has been unlike any we have experienced in our lifetime.

What many hoped would be a temporary setback has stretched on for a year and taken far too many lives. As Philadelphia marks this somber milestone, we invite residents, businesses, faith leaders, and community groups to come together for a day of reflection as we honor the nearly 3,200 lives lost to COVID-19 and look forward to brighter days ahead. You can join one of the many activities planned for Tuesday, March 16 or share your own memories, lessons learned, and words of encouragement on social media using the hashtag #PhillyReflects.

Since last March many residents have struggled with daily feelings of loss, anxiety, stress, and looming uncertainty. For those still struggling, please visit mindPHLtogether.com for free resources.

While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we also see the promise of better days to come.

Timeline of Events on Tuesday, March 16

Morning of March 16
Tune into @PhiladelphiaGov and @PhillyMayor for words of reflection from Mayor Kenney to kick off the day.

12 p.m. (Noon)
Churches and places of worship have been asked to ring bells, light candles, or display other forms of acknowledgment to honor those lost to COVID-19. If you witness these symbols of reflection, we hope you will join in by capturing and sharing them online using the hashtag #PhillyReflects.

1 p.m.
Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner, Dr. Farley will provide remarks at the City’s weekly COVID-19 press conference. Livestreams are available on PHLgovTV, Comcast Channel 64, Verizon Channel 40, and on the Department of Public Health’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
We Are a City Changed: Ritual and Reflection After One Year in Pandemic.
Join Mayor Kenney, the Office of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, City officials, and local faith leaders for a virtual event as we mark one year of COVID-19 and its impacts on Philadelphia. Through words, ritual, and music, we will gather to reflect on what this year has meant to us and look forward to the days ahead. Register or tune in on Facebook.

7 p.m.
Buildings around the City will light up in blue to honor our frontline workers, first responders, and all the lives lost due to COVID-19. Use the hashtag #PhillyReflects to post pictures of buildings in the city lighting up blue.