As Philadelphia slowly reopens, violators of COVID-19 orders will face hefty fines, mayor says

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Philadelphia prepares for construction to resume on Friday, and as businesses slowly reopen, Mayor Jim Kenney said violators of the city's COVID-19 orders will face hefty fines.

The City of Philadelphia Board of Health passed a new regulation on Wednesday increasing the penalties for violations.

Previously, the maximum fine for all violations of COVID-19 orders was $300. The changes are as follows:

- For businesses: The penalty for a violation of the business operation orders or any other regulation concerning those orders is now $2,000 per violation.

- For individuals: The penalty for a violation of the orders is a fine of $500 per violation.

Enforcement officers also have the discretion to issue Code Violation Notices (CVNs) to allow payment of lesser amounts for violations of the orders to avoid being taken to court, officials said in a press release. They are:

- $700 for violations subject to a $2,000 penalty.
- $250 for violations subject to a $500 penalty.

Kenney also reminded residents that most city offices and operations will continue to be closed until further notice. He said now is not the time to let up social distancing measures and urged people to stay home.

For those who need to head out for essentials, Kenney said, "Please put on a mask, it's not that much to ask. You're taking care of all other residents and citizens. Just wear a mask, it's not a big deal. Just put it on."

On Thursday, health officials announced 665 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 14,468.

Officials also confirmed 66 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. The number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia is 607.

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