The Lead

Philly sees ‘small but real increase’ in COVID-19 cases, city’s top doc says

By: - July 20, 2021 10:18 am

By Michael D’Onofrio

PHILADELPHIA — The number of COVID-19 cases is rising slightly most likely due to the Delta variant, according to the city’s top doctor.

Philadelphia’s vaccination rate — 60.4 percent of city adults are fully vaccinated — will help protect the city, acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said Monday.

Philadelphia is averaging 56 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last two weeks, according to city health officials.

“We have been watching the number of COVID cases rise in other states recently, most likely due to the Delta variant, and now it looks like we’re starting to see a small, but real increase here in Philadelphia,” Bettigole said in a statement her office issued Monday.

Bettigole suggested that people who are not fully vaccinated should protect themselves by choosing outdoor activities, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, and wearing a mask when around others.

During the past two weeks, the city had a 2 percent positivity rate.

Since the pandemic arrived in Philadelphia, 145,939 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 3,756 fatalities were tied to the virus. The pandemic has disproportionately affected African Americans in terms of positivity rates and deaths.

Michael D’Onofrio is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared

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