Philly Coronavirus News: Stay-at-Home Violators Flagrantly Flock to Rittenhouse Square

According to video from a CBS 3 report, it was very much a Coronavirus? What coronavirus? mentality in Rittenhouse Square on Saturday. But, hey, the weather was lovely.

people not social distancing in Rittenhouse Square during the Philadelphia coronavirus crisis

People not social distancing or wearing masks in Rittenhouse Square during the Philadelphia coronavirus crisis. (Screenshots via CBS3; full video embedded below.)

A roundup of Philly coronavirus news.

Hey, Let’s All Go Hang Out in Rittenhouse Square!

That seemed to be the mentality on Saturday. According to a CBS 3 report, residents flocked to Rittenhouse Square over the weekend. Video shows residents sitting around, some in close proximity to each other. Plenty of people without masks.

We’ve seen similar displays in other parks over the last month. And police did kick picnickers and others out of one South Philly park a few weeks ago. So while some people have clearly received the stay-at-home message loud and clear, others have not.

As a gentle reminder, the stay-at-home order does allow you to go outside for some fresh air, but only for exercise. So you can walk. You can run. Walking your dog is allowed. Bike riding? Encouraged. Picnicking or otherwise hanging out in a park? Nope.

“It’s deeply disappointing to see Philadelphians out socially and recreationally and not adhering to the city and state’s social distancing guidelines,” a city spokesperson told CBS 3 in a statement. “We understand it will get increasingly difficult as the weather improves, but we’re at a critical period of this crisis.”

And to that point, Saturday was a gorgeous day. But still. I guess we’ll see what happens this coming weekend, when the weather forecast calls for sunny days with temperatures in the 70s. You better be careful, Philadelphia, or the city could go the way of Valley Forge and close the parks.

Below, the full CBS 3 report:

City Could Lose Up to $647 Million in Tax Revenue Due to Coronavirus

Philadelphia city controller Rebecca Rhynhart just released a study indicating that Philadelphia could lose anywhere from $344 million to $647 million over fiscal years 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that the COVID-19 crisis is drastically changing the local economy and many Philadelphians are wondering how this will impact the City’s finances,” said Rebecca Rhynhart in a statement. “As the City’s financial watchdog, my goal is to provide as much transparency as possible about the situation we’re facing. With so much uncertainty, it’s important that both the City and the public have the information they need to make proactive, data-driven decisions in planning for the future.”

One of the biggest factors in these losses is the wage tax, which is the city’s major source of tax revenue. With so many people out of work, that means less wage tax collected. Much less. And then there’s the sales tax, which is taking a big hit thanks to the huge decline in retail and restaurant business.

But Rhynhart says she does expect the economy to bounce back in 2021.

“While it’s clear that the current crisis will have a major impact on the City’s tax revenue, in both the moderate and severe scenarios, we anticipate that the economy should rebound in calendar year 2021,” Rhynhart said. “My office will continue to ensure the City is operating efficiently and effectively as we recover from this unprecedented crisis.”

Here’s the full report:

Controllers Office Fiscal I… by PhiladelphiaMagazine on Scribd

One Month of Bike Access for $5/Month During Philly Coronavirus Crisis

Need a bike to get to and from work? Or maybe you just want one for exercise. (Remember: You are allowed to go for bike rides!)

We already told you that one Philly bike shop is hooking up essential workers with free bikes.

And now, Philly bike share operation Indego is offering residents month-to-month memberships for just $5 or half that for PA ACCESS cardholders. The Indego pass gets you unlimited 1-hour rides on their bikes for a month. Sign up here using the promo code INDESAFE.

If you’re not sure where the heck you can grab an Indego bike near your home or work, just check the map. Lots of options.

And Briefly Noted…

  • As a reminder, Philly is now on an every-other-week recycling schedule. This week is the on week. So get your blue buckets to the curb.
  • Almost all PLCB wine and spirits shops open this week for curbside pickup only after a limited trial run with some stores last week. Hopefully they’ve worked out the kinks, since it took us 159 phone calls to place an order last week.
  • Philly medical expert Paul Offit (he’s “the vaccine guy”) takes to the New York Times to explain “The Key to Reopening.”