COVID-19 in Philly: Mayor Kenney urges city residents to stay home for Memorial Day — again

Vanessa Garrett Harley, Deputy Managing Director, Criminal Justice & Public Safety and Mayor Jim Kenney discuss preventive initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence and gun trauma (Philadelphia Tribune photo by Abdul Sulayman)

By Donald Hunt

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday he is pleased with the efforts Philadelphians have made to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and he wants everyone to keep it up.

“Memorial Day weekend is now just a few days away,” Kenney said. “Obviously, it will be unlike any previous Memorial Day. With some beautiful weather in the forecast, it will be tempting to cast aside very necessary restrictions that are imposed because of the pandemic. I urge everyone to resist the temptation to take part in large gatherings. There may be a tradition for you and your family, but it’s simply too risky. I want to see you around for the next Memorial Day to celebrate.”

Kenney said the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has been dropping each day and testing is more readily available.

Cases

City health officials counted 227 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday; none of them were inmates in city jails.

“The daily number is still falling overall as far as the number of cases that we’re getting,” said city health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “We continue to make progress in our congregate settings. Our nursing cases are on the decline. We’ve had zero in the jails since this time yesterday.”

City health officials counted 103 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the city, bringing the total number of people who have died in the city to 1,152. Approximately 54% of the people who have died were residents of long-term care facilities.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 1,212 people were hospitalized with coronavirus-related illness in the region, including 635 in Philadelphia.

City services on Memorial Day

All city offices remain closed, as they have since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

Trash and recyclables will not be collected on Monday. Residents who have trash pickup on Monday should put their trash and recyclables out after 5 p.m. on Monday for pick up on Tuesday. Trash and recyclable collection will be one day behind for the rest of the week.

The city’s parks and recreation parks and trails will remain open for the Memorial Day holiday. However, barbecues, large picnics and group gatherings are not permitted.

Food distribution sites

Many of the sites offering free food and meals will have different schedules next week due to the holiday.

The following sites will be closed on Memorial Day:

  • Senior centers supported by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. Deliveries scheduled for Mondays will be made on Friday, May 22, instead.
  • All 40 city-supported sites. They will instead be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 26.
  • Older adult centers run by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Sites will open on Tuesday, May 26, for grab-and-go meal pickup.
  • Monday meal distribution sites at Tarken and Scanlon playgrounds. Distribution is rescheduled for Tuesday, May 26.
  • All charter school sites, except Richard Allen Prep.
  • All Philadelphia Housing Authority sites, except Raymond Rosen Park and Westpark Apartments.
  • Temporary outdoor meal sites at City Hall and Key School.

The following sites will be open on Memorial Day:

  • Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Raymond Rosen Park and Westpark Apartments, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Temporary outdoor meal site at Ruth and Clearfield streets, from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Temporary outdoor meal site at Thomas Paine Plaza, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Donald Hunt is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.