News Release


Rolling back reopening prioritizes public health
For Immediate Release

Mayor Kenney announced today that he will be expanding the novel coronavirus (COVID19) restrictions, including closing indoor dining, gyms, and museums starting Friday. Philadelphia is also banning indoor private or public gatherings and restricting holiday gatherings to people within each household. The new regulations will also not permit fans at sporting events, limit capacity for outdoor gatherings, and require high schools and colleges to hold class virtually. 

According to the COVID Exit Strategy Map, Pennsylvania now has “uncontrolled spread” of  COVID-19. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all up across the state, setting statewide records for cases in recent days, coupled with an increase in case positivity. The daily average of 650 new cases per day in Philadelphia has set a new record for the region in the past week. 

In response to the Mayor’s announcement, PennPIRG Advocate Emma Horst-Martz released the following statement:

“The past few weeks have seen COVID-19 surging across the country, and Philadelphia is no exception. By rolling back some of the most high-risk activities where people gather together indoors, Mayor Kenney is protecting public health.

“We are at a critical point and the decisions made by our leaders today will determine how many lives we can save and help us get through the winter as safely as we can.

While the Mayor is taking the right steps, more is likely needed given how quickly and widely the virus is spreading. The quickest way to lower cases dramatically is to close all non-essential businesses and ensure that people stay home.”

"Two things are as clear as they’ve been for months: it’s in our power to save lives, and taking measures to do so will help, not hurt the economy.”

Read PennPIRG Public Health Campaigns Director Matt Wellingon's piece on "How many lives will we choose to save?"

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