Philadelphia plans to move to 'green' phase of reopening on July 3

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Philadelphia officials have set July 3 as the date for the city to enter the “green” phase of reopening from the COVID-19 shutdown. Some activities could resume even earlier.

Health Commissioner Tom Farley said Philadelphia’s new cases, hospitalizations and other measures of the virus’ hold continue to trend downward two weeks into the “yellow” phase making it likely the city could go to “green” in two more weeks.

“Many people think that ‘green’ means go and therefore everything is allowed. ‘Green’ does not mean everything is allowed, and ‘green’ in Philadelphia will be more restrictive than in the rest of Pennsylvania,” Farley explained. 

What would be allowed are outdoor group sports, shopping malls, libraries and museums, gyms, indoor dining, schools and small outdoor events. 

He said with state permission, some things could resume June 26, including private swim clubs, zoos, hair salons and small social and religious gatherings.

“Each activity will come with very specific guidance and a safety checklist,” he said. 

Farley said examples abound nationally of places that reopened without care and saw a second surge, and stressed the importance of wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart and handwashing. 

He also praised Philadelphians’ compliance with guidelines that got us to this point.

“You didn’t just flatten the curve, you suppressed the virus and in the process saved thousands of lives,” Farley said.