Philly’s coronavirus response

This animated map shows the coronavirus surge around Temple in North Philly

Since the university suspended in-person classes, the outbreak appears to be subsiding.

Billy Penn illustration

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Pennsylvania coronavirus case counts and positivity rate have been rising since college students returned to campuses. Pa. health officials currently attribute much of the statewide increase is in Centre and Columbia counties, where Penn State and other schools are known to be fueling outbreaks.

The situation at Temple University in Philadelphia, however, appears to be subsiding.

After Temple suspended all but essential in-person classes through the end of the fall semester, the active case count among students is now falling. It’s down 20% from a high of 350, per the school’s dashboard. That’s out of about 9,000 who returned to take classes on the main campus, with about 3,700 living in dorms.

Over Labor Day weekend, the college conducted about 150 tests each day, according to Philly Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley, and and each time the number of positives decreased. Farley also said that so far, there’s no evidence the outbreak has spread to the wider North Philly community — which may soon have many fewer students, as they can get a full refund on room and board if they depart by Sept. 13.

We created an animated map that shows this surge around the North Philly campus, followed by the start of a decline..

Hit the play button to watch the fluctuation of the 7-day average of positive cases per 10,000 people in each Philadelphia ZIP code, from July through now.

The state of the pandemic in Philadelphia

Below is a look at coronavirus trends in Philadelphia in general.

On this first chart, the purple line shows case count, i.e. how many Philadelphians tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The blue line show hospitalizations — how many patients checked in with coronavirus symptoms. The red line is fatalities, showing how many people died of COVID-related illness.

(If you’re viewing on mobile, turn your phone sideways to see the full set of data.)

Two different stats are shown on this second chart. The green bars are total number of tests given each day, and the blue line is the percentage of tests that return positive.

The evolving relationship between these two stats makes for a useful comparison in assessing the state of the pandemic in Philly.

(If you’re viewing on mobile, turn your phone sideways to see the full set of data.)


Want some more? Explore other Philly’s coronavirus response stories.

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