PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today reported an additional 13,561 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Philadelphia since last reported on Thursday, December 23. This brings the total number of fully vaccinated Philadelphians to at least 957,492, and the number of Philadelphians with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to at least 1,207,112. Currently, 77.1 percent of Philadelphia adults are fully vaccinated, and 97.2 percent of Philadelphia adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

All residents ages five and older are eligible to be vaccinated in Philadelphia. 23 percent of 5-to-11-year-olds in Philadelphia have received at least one vaccine dose. Among eligible Philadelphians ages 12 and older, 71.4 percent are fully vaccinated, and 90 percent have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health reports 509 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 45 on ventilators.

In the last two weeks, 15.9 percent of COVID-19 tests in Philadelphia have come back positive. Thus far during the pandemic, 196,945 Philadelphians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 4,194 have succumbed to the virus. Philadelphia is averaging 1,462 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last two weeks.

“The number of people testing positive for COVID is now far higher than at any point in the last two years, and emergency departments are packed with people with COVID symptoms” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “I cannot stress enough how important it is that Philadelphians who are not yet fully vaccinated and boosted take all possible precautions now. Even people who have had boosters may experience mild, brief illness and could transmit it to others, including to young children and to older adults who are at high risk. I am hearing story after story of people infected after one member of a family attended a party or gathered indoors with friends, unintentionally bringing back infection to their whole household. We can beat this wave of COVID, but we need to get back to doing the things that kept us safe during previous waves: don’t gather indoors, wear your mask when around others, stay home even if you feel a tiny bit sick. The worst part of this surge should be over in a few weeks and we should soon have more tests available to let us test to ensure safety before gathering. But right now is a time for extreme caution.”

What to do if you cannot find testing: Due to unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing throughout the country, it has become increasingly difficult to get tested. As difficult as it is to get tested in Philadelphia, cities and states across the country are struggling with the same situation. The Health Department has published a blog about what you can do if you can’t find a test.

The most important thing to do if you are experiencing symptoms and cannot get tested is to act like you are positive. Stay home and isolate yourself from others in your home until at least ten days have passed since your symptoms began AND you are feeling better AND you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. 

The blog post also contains guidance on how to quarantine safely, including what to do if you only have one bathroom and how to clean your home.

Philadelphians should avoid going to hospital emergency departments for COVID-19 testing unless it is truly an emergency: This weekend, the Health Department and multiple hospital systems issued a press release reminding Philadelphians that hospital emergency departments are for emergencies only. Area hospitals have been reporting that their emergency departments have been overwhelmed as people are seeking COVID-19 tests before going to a gathering. More information is available in this press release

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