PHILADELPHIA - Health officials believe that Philadelphia could be the next hot spot for the novel coronavirus.
This belief surfaced on Wednesday at the White House Task Force press briefing, when Vice President Mike Pence issued a direct message to Philadelphia.
"Our message to the people of the Philadelphia area is, now more than ever, practice the social distancing so that Philadelphia -- and, to some extent, even Pittsburgh -- do not have to ensure what other communities before them have had to endure," Pence said.
The claim seemed to take Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner Thomas Farley by surprise. Farley says the White House is looking at the high percentage of the region’s positive Covid-19 tests.
"There’s no question Philadelphia is hit hard like other cities, New York being the worst, I’m hopeful we’re starting to see signs the curve is flattening," Farley said.
Farley says new cases are slowing, while the number of fatalities - a lagging statistic - continues to rise.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, case numbers Thursday rose to over 1,100 with close to two dozen deaths. Governor John Carney believes his state could be impacted by what is happening in Philadelphia.
Across the river, in Camden, more than 560 people were tested for COVID-19 in a site's first week open. County officials say they plan to open more sites while there’s still a need, and if the area becomes a hot spot.
For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP