Philly officials report more progress in fight against COVID-19 as new cases, fatalities continue to decrease

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Philadelphia ended its eighth week under a stay-at-home order with more good news on the fight against COVID-19 as new cases and fatalities continue to decrease.

It was another day with fewer than 300 new cases and decreasing numbers of new cases, even in hotspots such as nursing homes and the city jail, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 19,349. 

There were also fewer than 700 COVID-19 patients in city hospitals, down from a peak of more than 1,000. 

Health Commissioner Tom Farley went through the graphs on the city website showing the peak of cases and deaths in mid-April and a steady decline since then. 

“All those graphs show a similar picture: that we experienced a big epidemic, many people got infected, we’ve had, unfortunately, many deaths, but we are seeing progress in all of those,” he explained. 

Still, there are no predictions on when the city will reopen. 

Farley said another good sign is the increasing availability of testing. The city opened two more testing sites, bringing the total to nearly 50, and put a map of locations on its website.

The managing director said city departments are in the planning stages for reopening, and Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is working with its neighbors on a regional plan.

“All of this affects everybody, including southern New Jersey, so we’d like to all do this together and so far, so good. We’re all on the same page and hopefully we can stay there,” Kenney said.

The mayor said one challenge the city still faces is keeping trash collection on schedule, at least on recycling weeks, so the city will continue to pick-up recycling materials every other week until June 26, asking residents to put trash and recycling out on their scheduled day but be understanding if it gets picked up a day or two late.