Philadelphia Mayor Shuts Down Large Public Gatherings in City Until End of February 2021

By David Salazar

Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Tuesday that all public events and gatherings in the city will be prohibited until Feb. 28, 2021.

The order applies to all public events that include more than 50 people in a public space. Among those events that are canceled are concerts, parades, festivals, fairs, and flea markets.

The mayor did note that this did not apply to events taking place on private property, including performance venues and stadiums, thus indicating that most opera companies and orchestras will likely make their own determinations as to how to proceed with the 2020-21 season.

Several opera companies around the U.S. have closed down the fall portions of their seasons though many are still planning for a comeback in early 2021. It will be interesting to see whether other major cities follow Philadelphia’s actions and how opera companies adapt their seasons for digital platforms.

The state of Pennsylvania has had a total of 101,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and close to 7,000 deaths, as of this writing. Philadelphia County leads the state with over 27,700 cases and over 1,600 deaths; those totals more than triple the number cases and double the number of deaths in Montgomery County, which comes second in the state in both cases (8,907) and deaths (829).