Philadelphia COVID restrictions will be lifted ahead of schedule, as cases continue to decline

Philly COVID restrictions will lift ahead of schedule, as cases continue to decline, but masks still needed.

People, some without masks, walk along Market Street

People, some without masks, walk along Market Street in Philadelphia, Friday, May 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

City officials announced that all Safer-at-Home Restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday, June 2.

The repeal comes after Philadelphia reported the lowest number of new cases since September 2020 with percent positive rates below 3 percent. Residents can expect an end to COVID capacity limits, distancing rules, and more, but will still have to mask up indoors and get their dining orders in before the 11 p.m. last call.

The health department still has to review the state of the pandemic before changing indoor last call limitations and mask mandates, but those restrictions may end as early as June 11.

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It was previously announced that the City would lift restrictions on Friday, June 11, but the continued low rates prompted the change in plans.

“As more Philadelphians get vaccinated, COVID cases in Philadelphia have continued to drop, and positivity and hospitalizations remain low,” said acting health commissioner Cheryl Bettigole. “These are encouraging signs that vaccination is truly turning the tide in Philadelphia. We still have work to do to reach all Philadelphians, but we also want people to celebrate the good parts of life that we get back by getting vaccinated.”

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The health department announced Friday 118 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, which brings the number of confirmed cases in Philadelphia to 143,756. The health department also announced six new probable cases from rapid antigen tests.

The department confirmed eight additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 3,650. Of those deaths, 1,224, or 34%, were long-term care facility residents.

The department also reports 193 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 32 on ventilators.

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