Philadelphia schools closed until further notice as cases top 1,300

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Following the announcement by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Philadelphia school officials announced the indefinite closure of schools until further notice.

"Safeguarding the health and well-being of our students, our staff and the broader Philadelphia community is our highest priority. We will continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and other agencies to determine when it will be safe to reopen our schools," Superintendent William Hite said in a statement.

The school district said spring break will be observed from April 6 to 9 and will be closed on Friday, April 10 for the Good Friday holiday as originally planned, officials said.

As part of its digital learning plan, Philadelphia school officials will loan a Chromebook to every District K-12 student who needs one for learning at home.

Learning guides and grab-and-go meals are also available for students at 49 district school sites on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.



This as the number of cases of COVID-19 has risen to 1,315 in the City of Philadelphia, according to reports published Tuesday to the city's website.

The city also reported five new deaths, bringing the city total to 14. Seven of the reported deaths were residents in nursing homes.

The city also reports at least 6,850 negative COVID-19 test results as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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Wolf said schools and businesses in the state will be closed indefinitely, and a stay at home order has been extended for 26 counties until April 30.

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.
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