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Philadelphia Sets Second Lockdown, Restricts Holiday Gatherings

Philadelphia will enter another lockdown, set to begin on Friday and run through Jan. 1, as the city seeks to deal with a vicious second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Philly thus becomes the first major U.S. city to impose a second lockdown.

“There’s no doubt these changes are necessary,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Office workers will have to stay home, indoor restaurant dining will cease and gymnasiums and museums will shutter.

The shutdown also stipulates restrictions on outdoor get-togethers and forbids indoor gatherings altogether, except for household members. That puts the kibosh on holiday celebrations, except for those among housemates.

No fans will be allowed at the National Football League’s Eagles games, after a few thousand had been admitted to each of three games from Oct. 18 through Nov. 1.

Philadelphia’s new covid cases averaged more than 650 a day in the week ended Saturday, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said, according to the Inquirer.

That’s the highest weekly average since the pandemic began in March. Covid-related hospitalizations more than doubled in the past 11 days, the paper reported.

The news came on the same day that on the coronavirus-vaccine front, Moderna said its vaccine candidate in a late-stage study had an efficacy rate of 94.5%. That tops the 90% rate Pfizer last week reported for its vaccine..

Moderna said it could have 20 million doses available for the U.S. market this year, as well as a total supply of 500 million to 1 billion doses worldwide next year.

Moderna also said that its product could last as long as six months when stored at standard freezer temperatures of minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with the minus-94 degree temperature required for the Pfizer vaccine.

Moderna recently traded at $99.05, up 11%. The stock has quintupled year to date. Pfizer shares were off 3.6% at $37.24.