PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bucking the national trend, COVID-19 cases continue to decline in our region. Southeastern Pennsylvania is expected to move from the yellow to green reopening phase this Friday, with the exception of Philadelphia, where many restrictions will stay in place until July 3.
Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties will have a lot reopen this Friday. But not Philadelphia, which has had the highest number of coronavirus cases in the region.
That’s why the city is delaying reopening for another week, and there are concerns about outbreaks in other places.
“So the main message today is that this epidemic is definitely not over. The risk right now is rising,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
Farley says even though COVID-19 cases are trending down in Philadelphia, he’s worried about spikes in other parts of the country having an impact here.
“I absolutely am more concerned than I was a few days ago. We may take steps back depending on how the epidemic evolves. And that’s true now and that could be true any point in the future,” Farley said.
On Friday, June 26, Philadelphia will keep many restrictions in place for another week, and only allow limited openings that include swim clubs, hair salons and spas.
“People have asked me, ‘Why is Philadelphia different from any other part of Pennsylvania?’ I just want to remind people that Philadelphia is unique, we’re the largest city in the state by far, we’re the most densely populated, we have a high poverty rate, we have a very diverse population and we’ve had the highest case counts throughout this entire epidemic,” Farley said.
But cases are now on the decline. If that continues, here’s what is scheduled to reopen in Philadelphia on July 3.
- Limited indoor dining
- Indoor shopping malls
- Schools and colleges
- Libraries and museums
- Outdoor sports, small events
“In view of the rising case rates around the country, it’s particularly important that we be very careful as we reopen,” Farley said. “And case counts are rising also in some parts of Pennsylvania and in Delaware and in southern New Jersey. So with all this happening, this will have some impact on Philadelphia but we can’t say when and we can’t say how much.”
Farley emphasized the importance of people continuing to wear masks and social distancing.
Not everything will reopen on July 3 in Philadelphia. Theaters, casinos, large indoor social and religious gatherings will remain off-limits. There’s no date on when those activities might resume.