HomeNewsSome city restaurants able to increase capacity Friday

Some city restaurants able to increase capacity Friday

Mayor Jim Kenney/TIMES FILE PHOTO

The city announced Tuesday that restaurants that certify they meet new ventilation standards can operate their indoor dining at up to 50 percent capacity (above the current 25 percent for all indoor dining) beginning Friday, Feb. 12, once their application is approved.

Businesses must fill out an online application by today, attesting to their compliance with the new standards.

If restaurants have an HVAC system or standalone ventilation unit in use, the following ventilation standards are required to open to 50 percent capacity:

• HVAC system is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area.

• At least 20 percent outside is air circulated by HVAC system.

• Filtration MERV 11 or higher.

• At least 15 air exchanges per hour are measured indoors.

• Exhaust vent has a minimum 6-foot clearance from tables, chairs or other items.

If restaurants use window fans instead of an HVAC system, at least 15 air exchanges per hour must be measured indoors.

Businesses must submit documentation certifying their establishments meet the ventilation standards from their HVAC maintenance company or the establishment proprietor. During subsequent inspections, the Department of Public Health will validate this information by checking the documentation from the HVAC maintenance company and measuring dining space size, vent sizes and air flow.

Meanwhile, the city, at press time, reported 109,183 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 2,955 deaths in the city. Of those deaths, 1,114 have been in nursing homes.

To find testing sites, go to https://www.phila.gov/covid-testing-sites/#/.

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

Statewide, there are 876,913 cases in all 67 counties, with 22,620 confirmed deaths, including 11,739 in nursing homes or personal care facilities.

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. ••

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