COVID-19 Update - May 7

COVID-19 case rates continue to drop, vaccine availability increases

by Kate Dolan
Posted 5/7/21

“This epidemic wave that we are in now is clearly on the decline,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley on Tuesday.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
COVID-19 Update - May 7

COVID-19 case rates continue to drop, vaccine availability increases

Posted

This week’s update press conference for Philadelphia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic brought good news, as case rates continue to drop and vaccine availability increases.

“This epidemic wave that we are in now is clearly on the decline,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley on Tuesday.

Cases are falling in the region and in almost every state in the United States. For each day this week in the city, less than 400 confirmed cases were reported.

Weekly vaccinations administered by Philadelphia providers are decreasing, “but the numbers are still large,” said Dr. Farley. The decrease is occurring at the larger clinics, like the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Esperanza Community Vaccination Clinic.

“Vaccinations in pharmacies, in hospitals, in neighborhood clinics have not decreased so much,” said Dr. Farley. “It’s a sign that the remaining people, the ones who are not vaccinated yet, want convenience, want to have sites that are closer to home.”

The larger clinics operated by FEMA, the PCC and Esperanza, will operate until May 25. The city will continue to expand the number of smaller clinics serving neighborhoods across Philadelphia. Many sites in the city are now taking walk-ups or appointments can be made directly online at city’s website.

As of Monday evening, 779,000 people have received one dose of vaccine from the city’s 282 providers. The number of people fully vaccinated by these providers was 524,000 as of Monday evening.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that among Philadelphia residents, 36% of people over 18 are fully vaccinated while 59% of those over 65 are fully vaccinated.

Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine may be approved within a week for children as young as 12 years old. In Philadelphia, 80,000 children may become eligible and the city wants to vaccinate all eligible children by the time school starts in the fall. The city will offer vaccines for children at some of the existing sites but also plans to enroll a limited number of pediatric providers.

Even as cases decline, Philadelphia will not follow Pennsylvania just yet in removing its safety restrictions. The commonwealth announced this week that it will lift all restrictions except for the mask mandate come Memorial Day. Dr. Farley said the policies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which also announced a plan to lift restrictions, will be reviewed before considering changes to the city’s Safer at Home restrictions.

“Everyone wants this epidemic to end. But this epidemic is not over yet,” said Dr. Farley. “We have more than 100 people being hospitalized and 50 people dying every week now. We are making great strides but only about a third of adults are fully vaccinated.”

“Now this epidemic has unfolded in a series of waves and it’s good to see this particular wave receding but we are still right now vulnerable to future waves of the epidemic and I don’t want to see anyone die unnecessarily,” he said.

As of Thursday morning, 283 new cases of COVID-19 were announced bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Philadelphia since the beginning of the pandemic to 140,428. The total number of deaths in the city stands at 3,501 after three deaths were announced on Thursday. There are currently 390 patients being treated for the virus in Philadelphia hospitals, with 54 of those patients on ventilators.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment