By Greg Argos

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the Garden State tightening restrictions on indoor dining in response to recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, many are wondering if Philadelphia will be doing the same. The warning bells are being sounded by Pennsylvania’s health officials.

“We are now seeing the highest case counts of the COVID-19 pandemic that we have seen since the beginning,” said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

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More than 3,400 new COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in the commonwealth.

“This is a virus that hunts humans. It’s still out there hunting. It’s hunting more aggressively now than it has been in months,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr.  Thomas Farley said.

He also says the virus is spiking here in the city as well.

“We had several days where we had more than 600 cases per day. Just a few weeks ago we were about 70 cases a day, so this is a very rapid rise,” he said.

The protests, celebrations and demonstrations over the election and vote tallying are also a concern. Farley is urging anyone who participated — even while wearing a mask — to get tested for COVID-19 after seven days and quarantine for two weeks.

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“We’re worried about gatherings of all sorts, particularly gatherings indoors, but even gathering outdoors,” said Dr. Farley.

And now with neighboring New Jersey making drastic changes to help stop the spread, Dr. Farley and city officials are determining what could change here if positive cases keep rising.

“Everything is on the table, right down to a complete lockdown to very targeted restrictions,” he said.


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