Philadelphia health commissioner gives COVID-19 update
Philadelphia Corona virus Briefing. Dr. Tom Farley, the city health commissioner, is speaking. Now a CZ we could find out today now whether the city is going to allow fans at upcoming Eagles games, including this Sunday's versus the Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field. Field. Doctor Doctor Farley Farley spread spread within within the the school. school. When When we've we've seen seen cases cases in in students, students, recent recent cases cases and and staff, staff, these these people people that that we we believe believe were were affected affected elsewhere elsewhere brought brought the the infection infection in in the the school. school. We can't rule out then when he spread occurred in schools, But there's no clear evidence that any spread has occurred in the school building, which I think bodes well for our ability to continue to offer in person education in schools. Just an update on testing. We have information on our fixed sites were testing is available at www Phila dot gov slash testing were also now have a calendar for one day. We might call a pop up testing events, which is a Wwll Phila dot com slash cove it If you want to know what testing new pop up sites might be occurring in the next few days, the next week or so. Get it out their website. Now let me talk about nursing homes. A cz, you know, nursing home Forget very hard during the first wave of the epidemic, half of the city's deaths that occurred so far have been in nursing home residents. No. The nursing homes were hit hard enough. The overall we estimate about half of the total nursing residence in the city have had the infection already, and with those that they were likely to be protected against a second wave that's good for them. Of course, we need to protect others if we do have a second wave, and if we start to see more bars spread in nursing homes. We're not working now with medical centers of Jefferson University University, Pennsylvania and Temple University to provide support to nursing homes and infection control to prevent the spread of the Corona virus infection within the nursing home amongst the staff. And between the staff and the residents. Support is in the form of step training on infection control procedures, testing assistance with providing testing and personal protective equipment. In addition to that we are now going to be setting up an alternate care site for nursing home residents that are the test positive for covert so that they can be cared for in a place where they're not likely to spread infection onto others. This would not be for every covert positive nursing home residents. But for those residents in nursing homes, it can't care for them in a way than to prevent the spread of the residents. For example, if a nursing home does not have a separate wing and cannot separate at their staff in the Copan positive residents to cope with negative residents must be facility with that person could stay during the time when that person is infectious against protect the other residents of the nursing homes. Just a few words on vaccine development. A little update on this. There are studies now on the safety of ineffectiveness occurring in tens of thousands of volunteers in this country. No, the countries around the world The meantime, production has started in the hopes that many of these vaccines that are being tested are going to be proven safe and effective. Right now. There are by my count six vaccines that have received support from the U. S government that are either in phase three trials As the final stage of the studies. O R will be in this phase three trials by the end of 2020. Which means that there's potential for us many a six vaccines to be available in the city, Philadelphia by Let's say, April 2021. Some of those vaccines likely won't make it through the trials that you've proven to be not safe. Prove me not effective. Some of those likely will We hope to have small quantities of atleast one vaccine for distribution in Philadelphia before the end of 2020. You're now in the process of putting together a plan for how we will distribute the vaccine when it arrives. Now, the plan can only lay out a general approach. Because much about the vaccine too Still, I know you don't know which vaccine is gonna be available first. I don't know for whom it's going to be authorized. It may not. For example, the authorized for people over the age of 65 haven't tested in the people over 65. I also don't know how many doses for person this vaccine will be recommended for some of the vaccines are to be given. A one dose of these vaccines are given in two doses. We also don't know the storage handling requirements for the vaccine, and the stores and handling of vaccine really affects how we could distribute the vaccine. Nonetheless, we're hopeful We will be offering some vaccine again before the end of the year. Initially, we hope to offer it to people who are at very high risk for severe infection, such as nursing home residents and people who are vory iris to acquire the infection and then pass it on to those where themselves very harvest for serious infection. That would include, such as the medical staff in nursing homes or home health aides. Later as we have more vaccine, Spanish, other groups so you'll hear more updates. As we get closer to this. This is exciting the point. We're actually getting down to some practical planning, we maybe just weeks away from being able to offer the first vaccine to some people here in Philadelphia. Gotta get to the issue of the event limits. Last week, the governor announced new limits on the size of events that are permitted in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Instead of having fixed limit of no more than 25 persons from indoors or 250 persons for event outdoors and new governors limits based the limit on the number of people allowed on the size the venue. Indoors. The governors of limits would allow hundreds of people are in very large venues up to 3750. People want event and outdoors. The governor's limits would allow up to 7500 people, one of them No, We have real concerns about this in Philadelphia. Because this city this county has his own unique risk. We have very many very large venues of all the counties in the Philadelphia were the hardest hit with covert and our case rates are rising right now. So we have reviewed and we do not feel that this guy is that these rules is safe in Philadelphia, especially indoors, so we will be more restrictive within the city limits then has allowed by the Commonwealth.