City Offers Update on COVID-19 for January 12, 2020 | Department of Public Health

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 637 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the number of confirmed cases to 98,215. The Health Department also announced 181 probable new cases of rapid antigen tests.

The Department of Public Health reports 37 new deaths in Philadelphia from COVID-19 as of today. This means that the number of residents who have lost their lives to the virus in Philadelphia is 2,640. Of the total 2,640 deaths, 1,041 (39%) were in nursing homes.

Also, 616 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in hospitals in Philadelphia, and 91 of them are assisted by artificial ventilators.

COVID-19 restrictions: City officials announced today that a series of current business and activity restrictions will be lifted beginning Saturday, January 16. The restrictions that will be lifted are the following:

  • Service will be allowed inside restaurants with a limit on the number of diners, which is 25 percent of the seating capacity.
  • Theaters and performance spaces will be able to operate again with a limit on the total number of attendees, including staff, of 10 percent maximum occupancy. If maximum occupancy is unknown, 10 people are allowed per 1,000 square feet. All attendees must wear masks and no food or drink is allowed.
  • Colleges will be allowed to resume classes in person.

The following businesses and activities are still restricted under City protocols:

  • Day services for seniors, such as senior centers and day care centers for adults.
  • Indoor events.
  • Indoor meetings, even at home.

Full guidance documents on each of the recently permitted businesses and activities will be released soon City’s COVID-19 website.

Vaccine Prioritization: The Department of Public Health has published the City’s priority groups for vaccine distribution, covering Phases 1a, 1b, 1c, and 2. This list was developed using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Disease Control and Prevention of the United States and the City’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, which is comprised of 40 local health care and academic experts and community leaders. The goal of the Vaccine Advisory Committee is to ensure that the vaccine is distributed in Philadelphia in the most equitable manner, with special attention to different populations at risk:

  • Phase 1a, in which the City currently resides, includes healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff.
  • Phase 1b, will include first responders, service providers who work with high-risk populations, public transportation, food workers, child care and education providers, essential high-volume retail workers and those who work in critical product factories. Also included in this phase are people at high risk of high risk of morbidity and mortality, including people who live and work in collective residential settings, people over the age of 75, and those living with high-risk medical conditions.
  • Phase 1cIt will include sanitation workers, maintenance and cleaning workers, utility workers, postal and package delivery workers, those who work in higher education, finance, transportation, construction, IT, telecommunications and public health. Also included in this phase are people at high risk of morbidity or mortality, including people between 65 and 74 years of age.
  • Phase 2, will include all persons over 16 years of age who have not been previously immunized.

Detailed descriptions of each of the priority groups are available in the City’s COVID-19 website.

School District Food Site Update: Beginning Friday, January 15, the School District of Philadelphia will distribute student meals at 39 new locations throughout the City. This brings the total number of free meal sites for students, including the School District and Charter Schools, to 130.

Students or caregivers can pick up meals for the week at 102 District-run schools and 28 charter schools that serve as meal sites for students. These sites will provide meals to any student. Food pickup times vary by site. However, many sites are open on Fridays between 9 am and 2 pm to accommodate the District’s academic schedule.

Families are encouraged to confirm locations and times by visiting or by calling 311. No student identification numbers are required.

Philadelphia Public Library Update: Today, the Public Library announced that 20 locations will resume services in the building beginning Tuesday, January 19. These services include borrowing and returning materials, computer and Wi-Fi access, printing, reference desk services, and more.

Users can find a complete list of services offered by each neighborhood library at and they can ask about their local libraries by calling 1-833-TALK FLP (825-5357).

Map of the test centers: a new test center finder in will help people find sites to get tested for COVID-19 for free in Philadelphia. Anyone can search for a site by address, click on its location on the map for center-specific information, and filter by weekday and ways of access (on foot or by car).

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