More News:

March 22, 2020

Philadelphia issues stay-at-home order to go into effect Monday morning for city residents

Philadelphia city officials announced on Sunday that a stay-at-home order has been issued for the city effective Monday morning at 8:00 a.m in order to further mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The announcement came during the city’s daily briefing amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the Greater Philadelphia region.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household are prohibited until further notice, the city announced on Sunday. The new mandate does not apply to essential personal activities or those related to essential businesses, such as going to and from work at an essential business, shopping for groceries, and getting medical attention.

The city said that outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling and operating a wheelchair are still permitted. However, ordering food from a restaurant via walk-in is now prohibited. Takeout orders must be placed over the phone or online and be delivered by restaurants. Food trucks and ice creams trucks have also been banned.  

The city also revised its list of essential businesses in accordance with the state, as it now includes laundromats, retail banks, vet hospitals, extermination services, and repair shops for various utilities such as bikes, phones, and emergency household appliances. The city also said that its emergency restrictions that were initially in place until Friday, March 27, are now in effect until further notice. 

Mayor Jim Kenney said that the new guidelines were being put into place because there were “too many people out in the streets and parks.”

"We wanted to ramp up the level of concern," Kenney said. "The only way to flatten that curve is to keep people away from each other.”

“Everyone needs to recognize that this is serious,” Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said. “We need people to take this seriously. We need people to stay home.”

The city reported 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing Philadelphia’s total up to 96 as of Sunday afternoon. Of the 96 cases in the city, 12 are currently in hospitalization.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley said that not all testing labs are reporting and in operation over the weekend, so he expects the daily number of reported cases in the city to further increase at a greater rate this week.

Farley said that there should be more than 20 testing sites available in the region starting on Monday, but urged only the most vulnerable to seek out those tests. He emphasized that healthcare workers with symptoms and those over the age of 50 are of the highest priority right now, and that people who do not fit that criteria and exhibit no symptoms will be turned away. Farley reported that 165 people were tested for the coronavirus at the testing center set up at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday.

Pennsylvania has 479 positive cases of COVID-19 and two deaths as a result of the virus as of Sunday afternoon. Along with Philadelphia’s 96 cases, there are currently 87 cases in Montgomery County, 43 cases in Delaware County, 32 cases in Bucks County, and 23 cases in Chester County.

Follow Pat & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @Pat_Ralph | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Add Pat's RSS feed to your feed reader
Have a news tip? Let us know.