TL;DR: Philadelphia reported 742 new cases of the coronavirus in the city on Friday, marking the highest number of daily cases the city has seen since the pandemic began. “Make no mistake about it — this is a very dangerous period,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “This is possibly the worst period of the entire epidemic.” Farley also highlighted three cases on Friday that show the potentially dangerous impact of gathering with people outside your household. Read about those cases here.

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

🖥️ As Philadelphia and its suburbs continue to report increases in COVID-19 cases, city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said holiday gatherings should be held over videoconference.

🏠 Philadelphia Municipal Court issued an order continuing the city’s residential eviction moratorium through Dec. 31.

🛍️ Only about 75% of Philadelphians are wearing masks while leaving retail stores. That number should be closer to 95%, Farley said.

🩺 Opinion: Philly doctor shares lessons his grandmother taught him during the pandemic.

😷 Flu season is off to a slow start; COVID-19 precautions may be helping.

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📚 Less than a third of eligible Philly students have opted to return to school.

📰 What’s going on in your county or neighborhood? We organized recent coverage of the coronavirus pandemic by local counties and Philly neighborhoods mentioned in the stories to make it easier for you to find the info you care about.

Local coronavirus cases

📈The coronavirus has swept across the Philadelphia region and cases continue to mount. The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on tests conducted, cases confirmed, and deaths caused by the virus. Track the spread here.

Philadelphia reported 742 new cases of the coronavirus in the city on Friday, marking the highest number of daily cases the city has seen since the pandemic began. Although this can partially be attributed to more widely available testing, officials said 14% of the tests reported Friday came back positive, way over the 5% threshold experts say is a sign of troubling community spread. “Make no mistake about it — this is a very dangerous period,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “This is possibly the worst period of the entire epidemic.”

Coronavirus seems to be spreading through small social gatherings, so Health Commissioner Thomas Farley highlighted three cases on Friday that show the potentially dangerous impact of gathering with people outside your household. The cases included a woman who attended a wedding, a woman who went to brunch with friends, and third woman who went to a funeral. In all cases, the women became infected with COVID-19 and exposed or infected at least one other person. In one case study, the spread led to a death. Read about those cases here.

Helpful resources

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Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at health@inquirer.com and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.

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