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Hazardous air quality is making for dangerous conditions. Here is what's been postponed.

Air quality prompts events to close in Philadelphia region
Air quality prompts events to close in Philadelphia region 01:58

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Hazardous haze and smoke from the eastern Canadian wildfires are making for dangerous conditions in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. The air quality is impacting schools, universities, Pride events and more.

At one point overnight, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley had the worst air quality index ratings in the world.

The air quality has forced a ground stop at Philadelphia International Airport, meaning all departures were grounded and incoming flights were held.

Philadelphia officials suspended trash and recycling pickups, while recreation centers will be open until 9 p.m. Thursday.

Here is a roundup of the events in the area that have been postponed, canceled, or impacted.

Schools and commencements

 The School District of Philadelphia will switch to virtual learning on Friday.   

With a number of ceremonies planned Friday for middle and high school graduations, the District said indoor ceremonies will proceed. Outdoor ceremonies will take place, but at alternative locations, the District added.

Some times of ceremonies have been adjusted. The District said if your school was scheduled for an outdoor graduation Friday, you should expect to hear from your child's principal on Thursday for alternative plans. 

The Cheltenham School District says its commencement scheduled for Thursday will now take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Cheltenham School District postpones commencement due to hazardous air quality 00:28

"We are optimistic the air quality numbers will drop in the next 24 hours," Dr. Brian W. Scriven said. "Friday's prediction looks more favorable, with Montgomery County forecast to be in the moderate level (yellow)."

Meanwhile, the Lower Merion School District says its schools upgraded their filtration systems after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district says its medical staff will monitor students for any breathing or health-related issues and will be working with the Montgomery County health department.

The Downingtown School District says its school-related activities will be held indoors Thursday morning, which is the district's last day of school. Students have an early dismissal and the district says it will continue to monitor the air quality before its final graduation scheduled for Thursday night. If the graduation remains on, it will be live-streamed, the district said.

The Camden County School District has moved gym and recess to be indoors and canceled outdoor field trips.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says elementary schools should postpone outdoor activities and that staff working outside should wear masks.

There are no outdoor graduations scheduled in the Archdiocese today, a spokesman told CBS News Philadelphia.

Outdoor activities in Center City Philadelphia canceled

All outdoor activities in the Center City District, including the Rothman Roller Rink at Dilworth Park and the pond at Sister Cities Park, are canceled.

Also at Dilworth Park, the Arts on Center Stage performance is canceled.

The Center City Social event at 3 Logan Square is canceled as well.

East Passyunk Flavors on the Avenue

The East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District has canceled this year's Flavors on the Avenue street and food festival.

The business district says Flavors on the Avenue will return for its 12th year in the spring of 2024.

Philadelphia Zoo

The zoo says it will be closed Thursday because of "the continued high air quality index."

In a statement Wednesday, a zoo spokesperson said, "The health and well-being of our animals is a top priority. All of our animals currently have access to their indoor areas and may not be visible to guests for as long as the air quality alert is in place."

The zoo said Thursday it'll continue to monitor the air quality index.

Philadelphia Zoo closes Thursday because of hazardous air quality 00:14

Eastern State Penitentiary

The penitentiary is closed Thursday and plans to operate on a normal schedule Friday.

Haddon Township Pride parade

The Haddon Township Equity Initiative has postponed its Pride parade scheduled for Thursday because of the hazardous air quality.

"The health and safety of our community are of utmost importance to us," Haddon Township Equity Initiative said, "and therefore, due to these extraordinary circumstances beyond our control, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our annual HT Pride Parade & Events."

The Haddon Township Equity Initiative says it's working with the township and others to reschedule the HT Pride Events. There's no rescheduled date at this time.

School sports

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has rescheduled Thursday's non-public baseball finals in Hamilton Township until Friday.

NJSIAA also consolidated two days' worth of Group Track meets into one day. The June 9 and June 10 events at Delsea High School and Franklin High School will be held all on June 10 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

This change applies to both running and field events.

Digital tickets purchased for Friday will be valid for Saturday.

Camden County outdoor activities

Camden County says it has canceled several events scheduled for Thursday and Friday because of the air quality. The canceled events include Thursday afternoon yoga, Friday Cardio on the Cooper and Movies in the Park -- Harry Potter at the Dell.

"In order to protect the health of our residents while the region is under a Code Orange Fine Particles Action Day Alert, we've decided cancel several outdoor events," Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Camden County Health Department, said in a statement. "We recommend for residents to limit their time outdoors but if you must go outside, please wear a high-quality face mask and make sure to monitor for any respiratory symptoms."  

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