COVID-19 in Philly: ‘We may be at or near the peak of the pandemic,’ city health official says

Love Park in Philadelphia (Photo via Flickr Commons)

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PHILADELPHIA — During the City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 update for Monday, April 13, Dr. Thomas Farley, Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Health, sounded cautiously optimistic.

“The health news is a little bit better today. After many days of seeing rises in the coronavirus infection, the numbers are looking like we may be at or near the peak of the epidemic,” he said.

Farley went on to announce that the city counted 427 additional presumptive confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 6,813.

While the daily count has remained low over the past few days, some labs do not report results over the weekend, and the city has not yet received backlogged results.

Farley again noted clusters of positive cases in group settings, including nursing homes, behavioral health facilities and the Department of Prisons. Three additional inmates have tested positive. The current total of positive cases at correctional facilities is 66.

The Department of Health confirmed 14 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 190. Of the 190 total deaths, 125 (66%) were of people over age 70, and 93 (49%) were long-term care facility residents.

The Department of Health also reports that 711 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,289 people hospitalized in the region.

Mayor Jim Kenney sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make a case for Philadelphia, and in his Monday address cited personal protective equipment, housing support, education, job training and retraining, additional small business relief, pension relief, and the assurance of a fair election as areas of concern.

“Cities and states cannot effectively address and recover from this pandemic without a robust federal partnership and response,” Kenney said in the letter. “While I am appreciative of all that has been done so far, much more is needed to ensure that Philadelphia can safely survive the crisis and thrive beyond it.

“The road to recovery will not be easy, but we’re committed to doing all we can to support Philadelphia businesses and its workers,” Kenney said.