By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The fall resurgence of COVID-19 continues spreading across the country, including here in our tri-state region. And today is the first day of Philadelphia’s newly expanded limits on gatherings that will allow Eagles fans in the stadium on Sunday

Pennsylvania reported more than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases today as the state has averaged over 1,000 cases for 11 days in a row.

With the virus spreading, health officials are worried and eager to get more people vaccinated against the flu, which they hope prevents a double whammy of infection.

The rain put a damper on outside activities on the first day of Philadelphia’s new expanded limits on gatherings.

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“Everybody is worried about COVID, but there’s another virus out there called flu that can also be very serious and can kill,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

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At a church on Lehigh Avenue, the health commissioner got his annual flu shot, saying it’s more important than ever this year because of the second threat from the coronavirus.

“We don’t have a vaccine for COVID yet, but we do have vaccine for flu,” Farley said.

The Philadelphia Health Department is partnering with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to provide flu shots and COVID testing.

Coronavirus cases in Philadelphia have been going up steadily. The increase started with young people socializing without precautions, but that’s changed now.

“The age group where we see the highest rates now are between ages 20 and 50,” Farley said. “We think that’s mainly being spread through relatives and friends, but some of that spread may be occurring at workplaces.”

Statewide, Pennsylvania has had almost two weeks of more than 1,000 positive cases a day, with Philadelphia being among the hardest hit regions.

“I am concerned about the increasing cases in Philly,” Farley said. “This is happening nationally.”

COVID-19 cases in the United States has surpassed 8 million, with the one-week average of new daily cases up more than 55% in just over a month.

Stephanie Stahl

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