Philadelphia reached a grim milestone today.

The city’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today reported 22 additional fatalities due to COVID-19 in the city, bringing the total number of Philadelphia residents to have died from the disease since the pandemic began to 1,008. Of the 1,008 total deaths. He noted 544 were residents of nursing homes. 

Mayor Jim Kenney noted the high death total in his remarks before Dr. Thomas Farley’s report.

“In the last several days, Dr. Farley has characterized the city as being on the downslope of the pandemic,” Kenney said. “But crossing the threshold of 1,000 deaths is a stark reminder of the need to stay vigilant about social distancing practices. So remember: Stay at home, wear face coverings when you do go out and stay safe.”

Farley also noted the high number of deaths, noting the number lost in just the past month is nearly as much as the city lost to the opioid epidemic in more than a year.

“Each death represents a person with family and friends,” he said. “We should never forget there are people behind those numbers.”

Farley noted a recent Drexel University study that estimated the city saved 6,700 lives from observing strict stay-at-home orders over the past 45-day period.

But the disease remains deadly, Farley cautioned, even if new case counts were down from the disease’s peak in mid-April.

“The fact that we’re still seeing 300 new cases a day means it is still far too early to be talking about reopening the city,” he said.

As for new case totals reported today, Farley said there were an additional 314 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 19,093.

Still, Farley said the city has likely put the worst of COVID-19 behind it. City hospitals have reported dwindling in-patient hospitalizations for the past nine days he said, with 728 patients currently in city hospitals with the being treated for the disease.

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