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November 14, 2020

Philly officials say additional COVID-19 restrictions will be announced Monday

Stricter rules like a ban on indoor dining could return next week

Health News COVID-19
Philly return COVID-19 restrictions Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia officials said Friday that additional COVID-19 restrictions will be announced Monday, such as limits on indoor dining and the closure of gyms and movie theaters.

More-limiting coronavirus measures similar to those in place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic could return soon, Philadelphia officials said Friday.

UPDATE: Philly imposes sweeping new COVID-19 restrictions through rest of 2020

Stricter rules like a ban on indoor dining and indoor gatherings, as well as the closure of all gyms, movie-theaters, and non-essential office spaces are being considered, in the tightening of current coronavirus mitigation measures.

The new restrictions will be announced Monday due to rapidly rising cases of coronavirus, officials from the Philadelphia Health Department said.

Philadelphia shattered its previous daily coronavirus record Friday, with 1,158 new cases of COVID-19 reported in a single day.

Rules - like those banning indoor dining - have only been hinted at. But the city has a "special COVID-19 briefing" scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Although the return to life during lockdown is not something many are looking forward to, city officials say they may now be forced to enact the rules in response to fast-rising cases. 

A continued uptick in cases could be dangerous, as it would put a strain on hospital resources, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

"We’re seeing a very rapid rise of cases now. We reported over 1,100 cases today. If we thought we could minimize this without any disruption of business, we would do it that way, but everybody wants to make sure there is a hospital bed for them if they need it, and we’re at that point where we need to take action now so that is still the case," said Farley in a brief Friday, according to CBS3.

A similar return to lockdown-era coronavirus restrictions could be in play for Pennsylvania. The state also shattered previous case records this week, with at least 5,000 cases of coronavirus reported on two separate days, reported the Inquirer.

In response, other officials in the Philadelphia region have already tightened their rules. 

Montgomery County education leaders is closing all K-12 schools for two weeks starting Nov. 23, and the School District of Philadelphia said it will postpone a return to hybrid learning. 

According to data, the five Pennsylvania counties in the Philly area are all seeing rates of infection higher than that of April 2020. Philadelphia reportedly has the fast-growing infection rate than its surrounding counties. 

A recent study suggested that even tighter rules on things like indoor dining and retail stores could dramatically reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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