PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The road to recovery in Philadelphia is looking brighter with the lowest levels of coronavirus since the first week of the pandemic in March. But the city will still restrict tailgating for the Eagles’ home opener this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
There’s been an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state but a drop in Philadelphia, with the positivity rate in the city now down to 2.6%.
Masked up and lined up on Arch Street in Philadelphia, health officials say good compliance with face coverings in the city has led to a significant drop in coronavirus. The city is now averaging 67 new cases a day.
“The percent positive is the lowest we’ve had since the first week of the epidemic back in March. That’s really good news, a sign of real good progress,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
The city is easing restrictions on outdoor gatherings from 50 to 150 people but with this reminder from the health commissioner.
“When people are outdoors, you still need to have a six-foot distance from other people and the virus can still spread from one person to another through the air, even outdoors,” Dr. Farley said. “People still need to wear masks outdoors, and that means if people are doing gatherings involving food and drink where people are not masked it’s still risky, so we recommend when people gather outdoors, they avoid serving food and drink.”
For the Eagles’ home opener on Sunday, city officials reiterated, in addition to no fans in the stadium, that tailgating will also be restricted.
“We are working with the Eagles and some of the property owners down there that have traditionally been locales for tailgating to keep that from happening,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “Locking the gates of the parking lot, FDR Park will not be permitted to tailgate there.”
Statewide there’s been an uptick in new cases. That’s coming mainly from Penn State University where some students have been allowed back on campus to attend in-person classes. There were 260 new cases last week, and more than 700 since the school reopened in August.
Health officials say college students and young people in their 20’s — here and all over the country — account for a substantial portion of the new cases.