BREAKING: Indoor Dining & Gyms Cannot Reopen in Philly on Friday; “Green” Phase Delayed
The City of Philadelphia will NOT enter the "green phase" of the state's reopening plan on Friday, as it was originally planned. The "green phase" has been delayed until at least August 1st, the city just announced.
"The targets we laid out to go to green will not be met by this Friday," city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said at a press briefing Tuesday. "Our daily case count will not be below 80."
The city of Philadelphia reported 142 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and officials say the cases are more likely to be affecting "younger people" right now.
This means that indoor dining will not be allowed until then. Plus, popular businesses like gyms and fitness centers cannot reopen until August 1.
Health officials will evaluate the delay weekly, and will make announcements as warranted, they say.
Today's case total of 142 new COVID-19 diagnoses is significantly above that benchmark.
Last Friday (June 26) the city entered a modified green phase, which allowed some additional businesses such as hair salons and nail salons to reopen.
However, indoor shopping malls, casinos, museums, and libraries will still be allowed to reopen beginning on Friday (July 2) with strict mask-wearing requirements in place. Visitors will not be permitted indoors at those establishments.
For now, those will be allowed to stay open. However, that could change (if case counts increase).
“If cases rise here in Philadelphia it is possible that we will have to backtrack and close activities that we are currently allowing,” he said.
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Additionally, Dr. Farley said he does not believe that recent protests in the city had a significant impact on the rising case count in the city because the caseload would have spread earlier from the protests.
It's believed that "younger people socializing" have helped spread the virus throughout -- including teens going to the Jersey Shore.
"The rest of the country's epidemic will have an impact on Philadelphia," Farley said.
Last Friday, the city expanded the masks requirement to call on residents and visitors to wear masks both indoors and outdoors when social distancing was not possible.