Philadelphia officials urge social distancing as COVID-19 cases top 1,000

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The number of cases of COVID-19 has risen to 1,072 in the City of Philadelphia, according to reports published Monday to the city's website.

The city also reports at least 5,747 negative COVID-19 test results as of 9:30 a.m. Monday.

A total of nine people have died from the coronavirus, the city said.

The city says that the overall risk of community transition in Philadelphia is high.

EMBED More News Videos

Health Commissioner Dr. Farley updates COVID-19 situation in Philadelphia on March 30, 2020.



RELATED: Coronavirus Social Distancing: How far away is 6 feet?
EMBED More News Videos

Here's how to practice social distancing and figure out if you're 6 feet apart from someone during the novel coronavirus outbreak.



Five of those who died lived in nursing homes.

As city officials reported the new numbers, they also called for the city to abide by social distancing rules.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott said the department was removing rims from some of the city's hundreds of basketball courts after seeing so many people packing courts.

"Playing in close contact with each other on a basketball court, where you're sweating and bumping up against each other, that's what basketball is - it's a close contact sport, not what you should be doing right now," Ott said.

Parks are still open, but officials are urging those who leave their homes to exercise to do it solo and make it brief.

Outside City Hall, people also rallied to release inmates who, they say, are a vulnerable population housed in close quarters. Already, state and county facilities are working to relate more non-violent offenders.

The city responded with the precautions they were taking.

"We've taken a number of precautions in our jails. We are not considering restricted movement throughout our system at this point. We've had limited cases," said Managing Director Brian Abernathy.

LIACOURAS CENTER PREPARATIONS

What's typically a basketball court, a concert venue, or an auditorium to hold graduations is now filled with rows and rows of hospital beds.

Temple University donated the use of the Liacouras Center to the City of Philadelphia for free in its fight to treat COVID-19.

EXPANDED FOOD ACCESS

Beginning Monday, 20 community food sites will provide free food to residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Residents can pick up a box of food (one box per household) on Mondays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and Noon at sites throughout the city.

This effort is a partnership with the community-based sites, as well as Philabundance and Share Food Program.

In addition, the City, School District, and partners will continue to operate student meal sites at over 80 locations citywide.
For more information, visit the this page at Phila.gov



SEPTA SERVICE REDUCTION

SEPTA reduced Regional Rail to an "Essential Service Schedule" as of Sunday. Here is a summary of the changes:

Service on most lines will run every two hours

Airport Line service will run every hour

Twelve of the 13 Regional Rail lines will operate seven days a week; Cynwyd Line service will operate Monday through Friday

Starting Monday, March 30, SEPTA will suspend overnight service on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines between 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. to give crews additional time for cleaning amid the COVID-19 crisis.

EXPANDED 311 HOURS
Philly 311 is operating on extended hours this weekend, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents can dial 3-1-1 for help with COVID-19 related questions or to file regular service requests.

Representatives can take calls in over 100 languages.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.