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11:56 PM / Friday June 5, 2020

7 Apr 2020

COVID-19: Citizens Bank Park testing site to close, Liacouras Center to serve as temporary hospital

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April 7, 2020 Category: Coronavirus, Health, Local Posted by:

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced Monday 539 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 3,728. This large increase over Sunday’s total is partially attributed to a backlog in lab testing; some labs do not report results over the weekend.

The Health Department confirmed two additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 45. Eighteen of the 45 deaths are in long-term care facility residents.

The Department of Public Health reports 495 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 887 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).

The Department of Public Health again noted clusters of positive cases in congregate settings, including nursing homes, behavioral health facilities, and the Department of Prisons. Four additional inmates have tested positive, bringing the total to 54.

Mayor Jim Kenney also announced the first death of a City employee, Philadelphia Police Lieutenant James Walker.

“This weekend, we lost a friend, a family member, a hero,” said the Mayor. “Any death is tragic, but today, it hits close to home. We have seen the first death in our family of City employees. The pain for Lt. Walker’s brothers and sisters on the force is compounded by their recent loss of Sergeant James O’Connor—another life that could not be mourned fully due to the gathering  restrictions surrounding COVID-19. This is a heartbreaking reminder that the virus is affecting people throughout our community—especially those on the frontlines.”

Testing Sites: The Department of Public Health announced the Citizens Bank Park testing site will be discontinued after 6 p.m. on Friday, April 10. This determination was made by FEMA, which the City supports. It allows for remaining testing kits to be redistributed to indoor sites to expand their testing capacity, and any remaining personal protective equipment (PPE) will be redistributed to support hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The City-run location in Center City, announced last week, will continue to serve those who are over the age of 50 and are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as health care workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus. The site is available by appointment only and a referral is required. Those who meet the criteria and want a test can call (267) 491-5870 to obtain a referral.

The Health Department has expanded the definition of health care workers who are eligible to be tested for COVID-19 coronavirus at City-run testing sites. “Health care worker” now refers to the following:

  • Clinicians
  • EMS providers
  • Nursing home workers
  • Home care workers
  • Non-clinical staff who have direct patient contact
  • Behavioral health workers
  • Persons who work in congregate settings, including homeless shelters and prisons

Liacouras Center: This morning, Mayor Kenney visited the Liacouras Center, which is being set up as a temporary hospital space should the city’s hospitals become overwhelmed. Photos of the Mayor’s visit with the medical team and Office of Emergency Management officials are available for download HERE. (Credit: City of Philadelphia)

Recycling Schedule: Because of staffing concerns, the Streets Department revised its collection schedule. Recycling materials will be collected on an every-other-week schedule starting next week. Starting today, residents should hold their recycling materials for the week of Monday, April 6 through Saturday, April 11. Recycling collections will resume on Monday, April 13 with every-other-week collections through at least May 15. Regular trash collections will continue on or as close to their normal schedule as possible. Residents should expect some delays as the health crisis continues to have an impact on employee attendance.

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