PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A positive trend in COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia could be lost in the wake of the holiday.
During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley talked about the surge in cases and what impact, if any, Thanksgiving visits may have attributed to rising numbers.
"We are seeing a declining trend in the past couple of weeks. That's clearly better news," Farley said.
But he also cautioned that they don't know yet what impact visits over the holiday have had on the cases.
"The number of daily cases we're seeing now is still extremely high," said Farley.
At Sayre Health Center at 59th and Walnut, cars were wrapped around the block with an average of 500 people per day seeking tests.
Kirsten Britt works for Sayre Health Care and has helped guide test seekers daily. She noticed an increase in people in early November.
"We've typically have been having a three, four hour wait time," she said.
6abc's Data Team found there is a 38 % increase in complaints to 311 over businesses not abiding by the rules under the restrictions. Philadelphia has the strictest measures in place in the entire state. Eleven days ago the city once again ordered gyms to close and banned indoor dining.
Compared to last month, complaints have increased 38% with the majority centering around businesses in the southern and central part of the city.
According to officials, the overall risk of community transition is currently high in Philadelphia.
SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF
Philadelphia's Department of Revenue announced three measures aimed at providing some relief for small businesses that have been economically crippled by the city's recent COVID-19 closures.
The measures include a temporary reduction in the city's use and occupancy tax for bars and restaurants while indoor dining is off limits, an extended due date for annual fees for businesses that use city trash services, and a means for business owners who pay estimated taxes to claim refunds for overpayments.
"I recognize that none of these changes will be enough to fully overcome the impact of an economic downturn that has hit certain sectors - including restaurants - tremendously," Mayor Jim Kenney said in written statement, adding that city officials are working on other relief measures as well as asking for state and federal help.
Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection - ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.
The nation's top health officials are warning that recent travelers are at an increased risk of possibly spreading COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Americans should expect more COVID-related restrictions and advisories for the Christmas holiday, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert.
United Airlines has begun shipping the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine on charter flights, a source told ABC News.