Pa. coronavirus recovery: Philadelphia trash collection delayed this week

Piles of trash in Kensington. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Piles of trash in Kensington. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Updated at 5:35 p.m.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sunday recorded 93,015 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 6,911 deaths.

The City of Philadelphia has seen 234 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Friday, July 10, for a total of 27,575 cases. The city also announced two more deaths.

 

Philadelphia trash collection delayed this week

City officials said recycling and trash pickup will be running one day behind schedule the week of July 13, due to “increased tonnage and severe weather.”

A glut of trash from the 4th of July weekend, as well as “heavy rains and major flooding” over the weekend have interrupted waste management services.

Pandemic business shutdowns already strain trash collection in the city. Refuse that would normally accrue and be picked up at businesses, restaurants and schools is now getting curbed outside of homes, greatly increasing the volume picked up along residential streets, according to the Streets Department.

“We truly understand the unsightly look and smell that results when having trash and recycling remain on the ground,” wrote Streets Department spokespeople Keisha McCarty-Skelton and Crystal Jacobs Shipman. “The Streets Department thanks residents for their patience and apologizes for the inconvenience.”

Pa. Department of Health warns of young people spreading COVID-19

As coronavirus cases in the United States soar, Pennsylvania’s numbers show reason for caution, said health officials on Monday.

New case numbers are rising in more than half of the state’s counties, and the percent positivity rate rose in more than a third, said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine on Monday.

She warned that — while cases right now are not rising to the degree that they are in states such as Florida and Texas — the current increase in cases among younger people is a bad sign.

“We saw a higher number of cases right at the beginning, in people ages 19 to 49, before it spread to seniors, aged 65 and older,” said Levine. “This pattern is now repeating.”

While people in the younger age bracket did not necessarily get as sick as people in the older group, the increase in cases among people aged 19 to 49 was an indication of greater community spread.

In 12 counties, including Philadelphia, the percent positivity rate is above five percent, warranting extra scrutiny, according to Levine. The others are: Allegheny with 7.9%; Beaver with 6.3%; Butler with 5.5%; Clarion with 14.6%; Fayette with 5.2%; Greene with 5.4%; Lawrence with 5.8%; Lebanon with 5.6%;  Washington with 7.2%; Westmoreland with 5.4% and York with 6.3%. In Philadelphia, the number is 5.1%.

Keeping the percent of new cases that come back positive below five percent is one measure the World Health Organization recommends to track whether the spread is contained, although it requires good baseline testing and surveillance.

Governor Wolf urged residents to do what they can to stem the spread last week, such as wearing masks, saying, “We can take steps to stop increases before they become critical.”

The state is not considering restoring wide-spread business restrictions to inhibit the spread of COVID-19, and instead favors “targeted” mitigation such as the recent local order to shut down bars and restaurants in Allegheny County, according to Levine.

That said, she said even if businesses are allowed to operate “make a choice not to go” if it seems impossible to keep six feet of social distance, or if others are not wearing masks.

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More Philadelphia wine & spirits stores are reopening

Seven state-run liquor stores in Philadelphia are reopening for either curbside pickup for in-store retail. Stores at 135 W. Chelten Ave. and 6824 Rising Sun Ave. reopened for shoppers on Friday.

As of Monday, stores at 3101 W. Girard Ave, 4229 N. Broad St., 6036 Woodland Ave., 215-726-4650 and 7702 City Ave. will begin filling orders for pick up. The following day, curbside pickup will resume at 4906-4908 Baltimore Ave.

Curbside pickup orders must be placed over the phone and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

In stores where shopping can resume in person, each location will have a limit of 25 people, including both customers and staff, inside at a time.

Reminder: New tax deadline is July 15

The 90-day extension to file personal income taxes this year runs out on Wednesday.

Anyone who made more than $33 in taxable income in Pennsylvania during 2019 must declare that income by midnight on July 15.

State taxes can be filed via the website PADirectFile, and federal income taxes can be filed for free, though certain income thresholds may apply. The state recommends the website Credit Karma.

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