Philadelphia officials recommend residents cancel planned holiday gatherings due to COVID-19

Philadelphia health officials are recommending city residents cancel their plans to host gatherings with family and friends during the upcoming holiday season.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley made the recommendation during a coronavirus briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

"I know this is difficult, we're recommending that people cancel their planned family holiday gatherings," Dr. Farley said. "We're not going to get past this epidemic by Thanksgiving, or by Hanukah, or by Christmas. Family gatherings right now are simply very dangerous."

Dr. Farley cited recent data showing that there has been increased spread in private settings.

MORE: CDC's Thanksgiving guidelines say gatherings should be small, parades considered high-risk

On Tuesday, the city announced 340 new coronavirus cases and five new deaths.

Officials went on to announce the number of new coronavirus infections is growing so quickly that Philadelphia is losing the ability to adequately trace the contacts of everybody who is testing positive and may have to impose restrictions on activity.

Dr. Farley, said contact tracers are unable to reach out to every new person testing positive.


As a result, city officials may resort to managing some cases through guidance or asking people who tested positive to reach out to some of the people with whom they may have had contact while contagious, Farley said.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said it had confirmed more than 2,750 additional positive cases, the largest daily increase to date.

Last month, the CDC released their guidelines for safe Thanksgiving celebrations and recommended gatherings remain small and among people who live in your household.

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They also listed attending parades, crowded stores, and large indoor gatherings as high-risk activities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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