Philadelphia reported its highest single-day count of new coronavirus cases, with 879 infections, bringing the total to 49,775 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
Last week, the US city averaged 515 cases per day, higher than the peak in April. There was a 9.3% positivity rate, a fourfold increase since September, Farley said at a news conference Tuesday.
There are 386 patients currently hospitalized, up from 90 in September and 196 in October. There were 12 new deaths, bringing Philadelphia’s total to 1,901, Farley said.
There’s no question, we are in a dangerous period in the coronavirus epidemic,” Farley said.
Farley said that new restrictions were under consideration. He noted that much of the spreading occurs in private settings, and urged residents to limit gatherings.
Farley addressed the large election-related gatherings in Philadelphia over the weekend and recommended that anyone who was in a crowd of people, indoors or outdoors, wearing a mask or not and within six feet of others to quarantine for 14 days and get tested seven days after potential exposure.
“We know there were a number of people celebrating or otherwise gathering around the election time, outdoors and perhaps indoors as well, and we do worry about the spread of this infection whenever people gather for any reason,” said Farley.
He said that the city had reached its testing goal of 5,000 people per day, and the next initiative is to expand rapid testing to get results faster using Abbott rapid testing cards.