The city of Philadelphia announced on Tuesday a moratorium on all large city-permitted public events through February of next year. Mayor Jim Kenney shared the news in a virtual press conference along with Managing Director Brian Abernathy and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.
“The moratorium will apply to special events and public gatherings,” Kenney said, “including, but not limited to festivals, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs and flea markets.” Kenney further elaborated that the moratorium does not apply to protests or first-amendment-related activities, private gatherings of less than 50 people, or events on private property.
OutFest, the annual LGBTQ block party, had been previously scheduled for October 11, 2020, but with the mayor’s announcement any in-person festivities will likely be cancelled. As of press time, Philly Pride Presents, which organizes OutFest, did not have a comment.
“The health and safety of Philadelphia residents, workers and visitors must be our top priority,” Mayor Kenney concluded.
Philadelphia has been doing better than most of the country at combating COVID-19. According to Commissioner Farley, last week the city averaged 107 new infections per day, a much lower number compared to early April, where the average of new infections was 583 per day.
Dr. Farley also spoke during the press conference about the racial disparity of COVID-19 deaths, stating that the COVID-19 mortality rate among Black Philadelphians is fifty percent higher than white Philadelphians.