Philadelphia to Cancel All Large Events for 6 Months Due to COVID-19 Risk

Pat Loeb
July 14, 2020 - 8:32 am

Philadelphia officials are expected to announce the cancellation of all large events in the city for the next six months, at Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing.

The city's COVID-19 numbers have fluctuated in the last few weeks — sometimes rising slightly, sometimes stabilizing. What they haven't been doing is going down, and with cases rising sharply in other places, large events that would attract out-of-towners are seen as too risky.

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A city official says the decision has been made to cancel them. That includes the Thanksgiving Day parade, the Mummers Parade and all the fall road races, including the Rock and Roll half marathon and the Broad Street Run, which had been postponed to October.

This will not apply to private outdoor events with fewer than 50 guests, such as weddings and family picnics; to recreational sports with fewer than 25 participants; or events on private property, including performance venues and stadiums.

This is an extension of the ban that began in March, which forced the cancellation of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Since then, officials have been making decisions about large events one at a time, in hopes of an improvement that might allow them to resume.

It's not clear what convinced them that improvement is not coming before 2021. 

Some virus experts have said large events will not be safe until there's a vaccine. Philadelphia's health commissioner has said he's optimistic there will be a vaccine in 2021, maybe even early 2021.

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