COVID-19 in Philly: Cases among city inmates declining, officials say

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    By Kimberly C. Roberts

    PHILADELPHIA — The city’s health commissioner reported progress in containing the spread of the coronavirus among inmates in Philadelphia.

    No new cases were reported in inmates in the previous 24 hours, and only seven inmates have an active infection, Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday during the city’s daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “That’s the lowest number we’ve had since the beginning of this cluster,” he said. There have been a total of 196 cases among inmates since March.

    Farley said the coronavirus epidemic in Philadelphia appears to be stabilizing. Fifteen more deaths were confirmed in the previous day, raising the total death toll to 908.

    “Every death is tragedy,” Farley said. “We don’t want to have any deaths, but the trend of deaths per day is clearly downward, parallel with our success against the epidemic overall. So that’s a very good sign.”

    The number of hospital patients with coronavirus infection has declined for about seven days in a row, Farley said, with 758 inpatients now in Philadelphia hospitals and 1,432 in hospitals in the Southeast Pennsylvania region.

    “Overall, it’s a clear sign that we’re making progress against this epidemic,” he said. “But it is still too early for us to be able to say we can be open. We simply have too many cases. But we can prepare for whenever that day is when we can reopen — wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands.”

    Kimberly C. Roberts is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.