City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced 179 new cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,132.
Despite the 20,000 case milestone, Farley struck a positive tone noting that during the disease’s peak in mid-April, the city was reporting 500 cases a day and is now only reporting 200 a day.
“That’s quite a decline,” Farley said.
Farley also reported that nine more people in the city had died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of city residents to have died from the disease to 1,049. Of that total, 567 were residents of long-term care facilities.
Farley also noted the progress on daily deaths reported over a month ago when 30 deaths a day was the norm.
“It’s a marked decline,” he said.
Farley credited the decline to a majority of city residents following city guidelines for social distancing. And as the city prepares for a change in mitigation efforts, when the city goes from a red zone to yellow according to the state’s guidelines, Farley said people should prepare to wear masks when they leave the home.
” Get a mask and get used to wearing it because that’s what the future is going to look like,” he said.
The city released a new online tool to find testing sites at phila.gov/testing.
Visitors to the site can search for the closes testing locations by their address. The tests are free. Farley said anyone, regardless of age, is now encouraged to get a test as soon as they experience the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, coughing, fever and shortness of breath.
In order to get a test, the city released the following guidelines:
Each of the testing sites has its own requirements, and that information is included for each location on the map. For example, some sites require referrals, appointments, or certain criteria for patients. No sites require payment, insurance, or proof of citizenship. Residents are strongly encouraged to call first for an appointment or referral; all necessary phone numbers are available on the map.