City Leaders Grappling With Containing COVID-19 Outbreak, Impact On Local Economy – CBS Philly


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered all Philadelphia suburban restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities at 12:01 a.m Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The order does not include Philadelphia, however.

“We’re working with the Kenney Administration on the city’s mitigation efforts,” the governor’s office said in a statement to CBS3.

In Philly, city officials are encouraging people to go out and eat.

Philadelphia city leaders are no doubt worried about how the COIVD-19 outbreak will impact the local economy. On Sunday, many people in the city went out to eat despite the risk.

“We are worried about it,” one Philadelphia woman said.

Philadelphia has eight confirmed cases of coronavirus with 45 more pending, but many restaurants in the city were still open on Sunday.

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“Just to get out, get some fresh air,” a Philadelphia man said.

Just about every table was filled at Parc in Rittenhouse Square with people sitting close to one another.

“Everybody has to go on with their life,” a woman said.

That is a sentiment shared by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who on Saturday encouraged people to go eat out.

“Go out, have dinner and tip your wait staff because they’re struggling right now,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Saturday.

But that message surprised Dr. Sam Krass, an emergency physician.

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“It’s worrisome,” Krass said.

Krass emphasizes people should practice social distancing, essentially trying to stay home and away from people as much as possible.

“We’ve seen a lot of sporting events have been canceled, schools are being shut down and people are being told to work from home to prevent the spread of disease,” Krass said.

But Sunday’s warm weather brought many people outside and in close contact with others. Some waited in line at an ice cream truck, others crowded inside bars.

Over on Walnut Street in Center City, sidewalks weren’t bustling. But it wasn’t desolate either.

That’s despite some stores — like Apple — being closed.

Others like Cole Haan are reducing hours, so they’ll have enough staff if some get sick.

“We have to be responsible,” Krass said.

Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said at a Sunday news conference, the city is grappling battling coronavirus as the nation’s biggest poor city.

“As we’re trying to manage through this healthcare crisis, we’re also trying to manage through deep poverty,” Abernathy said.

The city’s health commissioner says he expects those numbers to grow.

“They appear to spread from people who do not have symptoms,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

City officials also say they’re working to be proactive during the pandemic and will open a drive-thru testing site for coronavirus at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday.

A doctor’s note would be required to use the drive-thru testing site.





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