Health officials warn Philadelphians to start taking precautions against COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA –  The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today reported an additional 11,293 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Philadelphia since last reported on Monday, March 28. This brings the total number of fully vaccinated Philadelphians to at least 1,055,329, and the number of Philadelphians with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to at least 1,275,879. Currently, 76.9 percent of Philadelphia adults are fully vaccinated, and  94.7 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. 35.4 percent of 5-to-11-year-olds in Philadelphia have received at least one vaccine dose. Among eligible Philadelphians ages 12 and older, 75.9 percent are fully vaccinated, and 93.5 percent have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health reports 48 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of five on ventilators.

In the last two weeks, 3.1 percent of COVID-19 tests in Philadelphia have come back positive. Thus far during the pandemic, 277,438 Philadelphians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and  5,006 have succumbed to the virus. Philadelphia is averaging 94 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last two weeks.

More Than 5,000 Philadelphians Have Lost Their Lives to COVID-19: Last week, the Health Department recorded the 5,000th death from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of 5,000 Philadelphians — our friends, coworkers, neighbors and loved ones — to COVID-19,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This loss is unfathomable, and will be felt in countless ways across our city for years to come. While we know much more about how to manage and treat COVID-19 compared to two years ago, it is still a serious illness that continues to take lives. Our city grieves the people we have lost. We must continue to protect ourselves and each other by getting vaccinated, testing if we don’t feel well, and taking care to protect the vulnerable people in our communities.”

Health Officials Warn Philadelphians to Start Taking Precautions Against COVID-19: The average number of Philadelphians testing positive for COVID-19 has been slowly rising over the last several weeks. In the last ten days, the slope of that rise has increased. According to the City’s COVID-19 Response Level metrics, Philadelphia remains in the All Clear Response Level, but officials recommend that people start considering wearing a mask while in indoor public spaces to help reduce their risk. This recommendation follows earlier warnings to get ready in case a new COVID-19 wave comes to Philadelphia.

“The Health Department has been warning that, based on what we’ve seen in Europe, we could see another COVID-19 wave sooner rather than later,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “And now, cases in Philadelphia are slowly rising and have increased by more than 50 percent in the last ten days. As we see more cases of COVID-19 in the city, everyone’s risk goes up. That means that now is the time to start taking precautions. It’s not required yet, but Philadelphians should strongly consider wearing a mask while in public indoor spaces. Make sure you have a supply of masks and home tests ready in case you need them. And if you haven’t gotten up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine, there’s still time to do that and help protect yourself and your community today.”

Health Department Moves to Weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Updates: The City will now be reporting updated COVID-19 vaccine administration counts and percentages every Monday via Twitter and on the City’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. As the number of people receiving vaccine doses has slowed across the country, the Philadelphia Health Department has recorded only about 21,000 doses of vaccine in the last two weeks. The percentages of groups of Philadelphians are changing very little day to day, so reporting will move to a weekly frequency. Should the pace of vaccinations pick up again, the Health Department may return to daily vaccine administration reporting. The latest vaccine administration data can be found on the City’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard.

COVID-19 Response Level: This week’s COVID-19 response level is All Clear. This means there is no vaccine requirement for places that serve food or drink. Masks are not required in indoor public places. Masks are optional in schools, with the exception of Head Start programs. Please note that masks are still required in healthcare settings, congregate living settings,  and on transit. Businesses and other institutions are allowed to be more strict than the City’s COVID-19 Response Levels, so some businesses may require proof of vaccination or that everyone wears a mask. The criteria and mandates for each COVID-19 response level are listed online.

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