Indoor dining decision due next week

Dr. Tom Farley, commissioner of the city Department of Public Health

Indoor restaurant dining in Philadelphia remains prohibited until at least Sept. 1, and that date could be extended.

The city will announce on Aug. 21 whether indoor dining will resume on Sept. 1, or later.

Mask wearing remains required in all businesses, and the state has issued an order requiring masks while out in public.

The city, at press time, reported 31,584 confirmed coronavirus cases.

An interactive map of cases broken down by ZIP code can be found at phila.gov.

There have been a total of 1,700 deaths in the city. Eight-hundred and sixty-one of those deaths have been in nursing homes.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley noted that Monday marked the five-month anniversary of the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the city, saying, “Five months ago today, we reported that, for the first time, a Philadelphia resident had tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. The five months since then have been difficult: More than 30,000 Philadelphians have tested positive, nearly 1,700 have died, and tens of thousands have lost their sources of income.

“Every day we are making progress in the battle against this virus, though. Daily case counts are now dropping, the percentage of tests that are coming back positive is hitting new lows, and our economy is shifting back into gear. This progress is based on Philadelphia residents doing the right thing, especially wearing masks, and keeping a distance from others. If we all continue to do that consistently, the next five months will be much better than the last.”

Anyone who wants to find a testing site can go to https://www.phila.gov/covid-testing-sites/#/.

Statewide, there are 120,281 cases in all 67 counties, with 7,352 confirmed deaths, including 4,983 in nursing homes or personal care facilities.

“The mitigation efforts in place now are essential as the new school year approaches and we work to ensure our children can get back to learning,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework will help keep our case counts low. Together, as Pennsylvanians, we each have a part to play in working to ensure that cases of COVID-19 remain low.”

The Philadelphia Water Department agreed to postpone all water shutoffs for residential and commercial customers who are unable to pay their bills through Aug. 31. Customers who cannot pay their bill should apply for help at 215-685-6300 or www.phila.gov/waterbillhelp.

Philadelphians looking for the latest local information on the coronavirus can visit phila.gov/COVID-19.

Residents with questions can call a 24-hour helpline at 800-722-7112.

Or, text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone. ••