Philadelphia officials issue stay-at-home order for city residents

KYW Staff
March 22, 2020 - 2:10 pm

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UPDATED: 3:09 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia has issued a stay-at-home order for residents, effective Monday at 8 a.m. until further notice.

Managing Director Brian Abernathy announced the order Sunday, after city officials consulted with the Wolf administration. The order comes alongside revised restrictions on essential businesses. All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside of a single home are prohibited.

All residents must remain at home unless for essential purposes, such as obtaining food or seeking medical attention, or essential business employees. Other activities permitted under the order include caring for family, friends or an animal, exterminating, appliance and electronics repair, public safety, and outdoor exercise with proper social distancing.

Abernathy made clear that although there are exceptions, they shouldn't be treated as an outing. "Grocery stores should discourage leisure or idle conduct and manage store occupancy to allow for social distancing," he cautioned.

While the order does not affect delivery of food or essential goods, restaurants that offer takeout can no longer allow customers inside. People must order in advance for curbside pickup.

Much of what's prohibited under the order has already been in place, but Abernathy said he hoped to bring clarity to the shifting closures and restrictions that have been announced over the last week and a half.

"There's no playbook for this situation and we’re doing our best in light of an evolving health care situation to do what is best," he said. 

Here is the full text of the order: 

New cases confirmed in Philadelphia

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley also announced 11 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Philadelphia's total to 96, 16 of which are healthcare workers. He cautioned that as not all laboratories reported over the weekend, those numbers would likely rise this week.

165 people were tested for the virus at the new South Philadelphia testing site outside Citizens Bank Park. The majority of them were healthcare workers. Farley said healthcare workers with symptoms remain the first priority for testing.

KYW Newsradio's Pat Loeb contributed to this report.

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