Philadelphia's health commissioner urges residents to stay away from the beach this Memorial Day weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Jersey Shore may be open, but during Monday's daily press briefing, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley urged Philadelphians to stay away from the beach over the holiday weekend.

"We are not recommending people go to the beach this weekend," he said. "We understand the draw...but this is not the time to do that. Let's wait until the case counts are lower and for it to be safer."

Farley said there have been 347 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths reported in the city since Saturday.

He also urged anyone who is experiencing respiratory symptoms to get a COVID-19 test.

Farley said the city now has the number of tests available to test people of all ages who may have symptoms.

City officials confirmed Monday morning that there will be no public ceremonies for Memorial Day in Philadelphia due to restrictions on large gatherings amid the pandemic.

This includes the annual celebrations the city holds to honor veterans.

"Each year, the City of Philadelphia Office of Veterans Affairs takes part in the Memorial Day services held by our friends at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial and the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial organizations. We are in contact with both organizations as they adjust to virtual commemorations honoring our military service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said the city in a press release.

The Office of Veterans Affairs said virtual celebrations will be scheduled.
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