PHILADELPHIA — Officials Tuesday announced changes to outdoor and indoor crowd size limits despite more cases of the coronavirus cropping up in the city, opening Lincoln Financial Field once again to Eagles fans.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley Tuesday said outdoor venues will be able to welcome more people starting Friday.
Outdoor venues with a capacity of more than 2,000 will be able to allow 15 percent capacity, up to a total of 7,500. So for Lincoln Financial Field, 7,500 total people can be in it, including fans, athletes, coaches, staff, and others.
The Eagles welcomed fans back on Twitter:
“All other rules apply,” Farley said. That means masks are required, people should stay six feet apart, and alcohol can only be purchased as part of a meal per Gov. Tom Wolf’s rules.
Mayor Jim Kenney said the team is working on its operational plan for welcoming fans back.
“The Eagles are extremely capable of following the rules,” he said. “It’s in the Eagles best interest that this goes off without a hitch and I’m confident they can do that and will do that.”
Seats will be blocked off so fans can only sit where their tickets designate, according to Farley.
Farley said the outdoor capacity increase was approved due to the lower risk of coronavirus spread when outdoors.
Indoor capacity limits changed as well.
Now, indoor venues can have no more than 10 percent of their maximum occupancy or up to 250 people. Large indoor venue such as a sports arenas can only have 250, including athletes and staff.
While the changes are welcome, they could be reversed.
“If any spread occurs at events or cases continue to rise,” Farley said. “We may bring back restrictions.”
Farley Tuesday reported 145 new cases identified since Monday, bringing the city’s total since the start of the pandemic to 39,413 total since beginning. 0 new cases identified as probable cases by rapid testing
The past week saw an average of 158 new cases per day. Of the people tested last week, 4.5 percent positive. Those numbers are up from the previous week, which had an average daily case count of 126 and a 4.3 percent positivity rate.
Farley said there is an increase among college students, as well as in South and far Northeast Philadelphia. Two thirds of the new cases have been in people between 20 and 49 years old.
Contact tracing shows spread of the virus is mostly among household members and happens at social gatherings.
Farley said there were no new deaths since Monday, with the city’s total death toll at 1,830 total. The city is seeing an average of about 15 deaths per week.