Watch CBS News

Coronavirus In Philadelphia: City Grinds To Halt As Mandatory Stay-At-Home Order Goes Into Effect

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia is several hours into Mayor Jim Kenney's stay-at-home order. The stay-at-home order calls for no outdoor gatherings of any kind unless people go outside to exercise or are going to a job that's been deemed essential.

"All Philadelphia residents must remain home," Kenney said.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced 79 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the city's total to 175.

It was mostly a ghost town on North Second Street by Fairmount Avenue in Northern Liberties as businesses mostly grind to a halt.

The stay-at-home order was issued by Philadelphia leaders Sunday, mandating all public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household prohibited.

Kenney elaborated on what's exempted from the stay-at-home order during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

"Essential personal activities include things like seeking medical care or assistance from law enforcement services, reporting to and performing a job related to essential business," he said. "Caring for a family member or other individual at a separate location, delivery essential goods or services, moving in or out of a home or an apart, picking up food at a grocery store, school meal site or restaurant, though ordering ahead is now required for these establishments."

At restaurants, walk-in take out orders are no longer allowed.

"We are painfully aware of the stress and potentially devastating impact these closures are causing," Kenney said.

On top of Philadelphians being ordered to remain home, so are college students.

At La Salle University in East Germantown, thousands of students were supposed to return from their spring breaks Monday. Instead, the campus is desolate, spring break has been extended a week and seniors are struggling to figure out what they'll do post-graduation.

"It's a very high concern of mine," Victoria Goodman said.

She had a job lined up but now isn't sure if it will still be there.

"In a matter of a week, my entire life was flipped upside down. I have no time to finish my senior year. I don't know where I'm going to be come summer in terms of a job," Goodman said.

Students say many companies have been interviewing by phone or video chat, but for some, the coronavirus disrupted the job search.

"Responses have been coming in a little slower, a little more scattered," Christopher Spalding said.

Meantime, with so many people working from home, we checked in with some to see how they've been holding up.

"Everything's been OK," Stefanie Richman said.

She is an accountant who has already been working from home for a few weeks.

"I think it's something that needs to be done, just to slow the spread of the virus. It hasn't affected what I've been doing. I've already been doing what the stay-at-home order entails," she said.

Lunch trucks are also prohibited in the order, which remains into effect for the foreseeable future.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.