PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Department of Public Health notified Philadelphians of a slight rise in the number of patients with COVID-19 in local hospitals. The Health Department advised residents to take sensible precautions in anticipation of a possible continued rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 over the coming months. There are currently a total of 60 patients in local hospitals with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. This is the first time that number has been over 50 since the spring. However, that number is still far below where we were at this point in the last three years.
Residents are encouraged to:
- Stay home if you are sick
- Check your supplies of at-home COVID-19 tests, hand sanitizer, and high-quality masks (available at the Health Department’s resource hubs and upcoming school events)
- Test yourself or get tested if you don’t feel well
- Consider wearing a mask when you are in crowded indoor public places
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and are high risk, talk with your doctor about Paxlovid or other antiviral medications
“In 2023, living with COVID-19 is a bit like living with the potential for severe storms,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “Fortunately, we no longer need to put our lives on hold or miss out on important events. But we do need to stay aware of the virus and to be a bit more careful when we see signs of an increase in spread. By taking reasonable precautions, we can help prevent the infection from affecting people at highest risk.”
The U.S. CDC and FDA are currently working to approve new versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, tailored to the variants currently circulating in the United States. It is expected that these vaccines will be made available in September, and the Health Department strongly recommends Philadelphians, especially seniors and people at high risk, get that vaccine as soon as it is available.
The Health Department continues to make COVID-19 protection resources like masks, hand sanitizer, and COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, among other things, available at our Resource Hubs. Air purifiers for schools and early childhood education centers are still available from the Health Department. COVID-19 testing opportunities continue to be made available throughout the city.
For the latest on COVID-19 data, guidance and recommendations, and testing and vaccine information, visit https://www.phila.gov/covid.