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Philly halts reopening of indoor dining and gyms as concern over virus’ spread in other states grows

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Philly halts reopening of indoor dining and gyms as concern over virus’ spread in other states grows

On Main Street in Manayunk, Ryan Monte and Stephanie Santamaria dine outdoors at the New Leaf II on Tuesday. The city postponed plans to allow indoor dining that was to begin Friday. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer Indoor dining won’t resume and gyms won’t open in Philadelphia this week, after city officials on Tuesday halted certain reopening plans for at least another month. They joined officials in New Jersey and Delaware who have also slowed the return to normal activities amid new spreading of the coronavirus nationwide.

Indoor shopping malls, casinos, museums, and libraries in the city will still be allowed to open Friday, with strict mask-wearing requirements and other health precautions in place, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced Tuesday. No eating or drinking will be permitted inside.

“We want to get our economy going as much as we can, but we don’t want the virus to resurge,” Farley said. “So it’s always a tough balancing act, and we feel that this is the right decision at this point.”

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The number of new U.S. infections has increased by 80% over the last two weeks, according to data collected by the New York Times , including sharp increases in the South and West. In Florida and Texas, officials imposed new restrictions on bars.

Farley said he remained concerned about the impact that a national surge in cases could have on Philadelphia. “I want the businesses to reopen as much as anybody,” he said, “but at the same time I think officials in Florida and Texas are regretting it right now, and I don’t want us to be there in the future.” Earlier in […]

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