Hepatitis A Public Health Emergency Declaration


Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, declared that the ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A in Philadelphia is a public health emergency and has directed health care providers and governmental and non-governmental agencies to help vaccinate those most at risk for the infection in order to stop the outbreak. As part of the Philadelphia Resilience Project, the City of Philadelphia will be expanding its own outreach to vaccinate homeless persons and others at greatest risk.


Philly Voice

Philadelphia officials have declared a public health emergency over an outbreak of Hepatitis A that has become a growing concern in 2019.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced the public health emergency Thursday afternoon, directing health care providers and agencies to vaccinate those at the highest risk of infection.


By Michael Tanenbaum


“It’ll make it easier for us to mobilize doctors and other medical providers to offer vaccination to people when they come in contact with the medical system,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, “and for us to use our resources to vaccinate people who may not come in contact with a medical system, such as people living on the street.”


By Andrew Kramer


The health department says the city usually sees between two to six cases of Hepatitis A per year. Since January, the department has been notified of 154 cases.


By Jeff Cole


Since July 2018, the Health Department has coordinated the vaccination of 1,775 people considered at-risk, and reports that more than 12,439 total Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given in the city.

Because these efforts have not been sufficient to end the outbreak, the Health Department is mobilizing with this declaration of emergency to vaccinate tens of thousands of additional at-risk folks.


By Max Bennett


Philadelphia has declared a public health emergency as hepatitis A cases continue to skyrocket. A major source of the problem is human feces on city streets.


By Staff


“While there’s not an exact cause that we can pinpoint, Philadelphia had been in the grip of the opioid crisis, which the Health Commissioner had called the worst epidemic here in more than a century,” James Garrow, spokesman for Philadelphia Department of Public Health, told CNN in an email.


By Susan Scutti

6ABC 1

“We don’t want anyone to contract Hepatitis A, and we have the ability to stop this outbreak. Now that we have a safe and effective vaccine, the most important action we can take is for everyone at high risk to be vaccinated,” Dr. Thomas Farley, health commissioner in Philadelphia.


By Christie Ileto


Officials in Philadelphia have declared a public health emergency due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A.

Health care providers have been directed to help vaccinate those most at risk for infection to stop the outbreak.


By Staff


In light of that, the city stepped up vaccinations last year. But it wasn’t enough. In its emergency declaration, the city encouraged health-care providers to begin offering hepatitis A vaccines to groups at risk of contracting the disease. The city Public Health Department has vaccinated 1,775 people since last July, and more than 12,000 people have been vaccinated in Philadelphia as a whole in that time period.

“One of the key purposes of the declaration is to mobilize the medical community,” Farley said. “We’re optimistic we can contain it if we vaccinate people at risk.”


By Aubrey Whelan


The city is calling on health care providers, as well as government and non-government agencies, to help vaccinate residents with the “greatest risk” of contracting the liver disease — including drug users, homeless people, and recently released inmates.

Those who have had close contact with them should also be vaccinated, said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.


By Aaron Moselle

US News and World Report

Officials in Philadelphia have confirmed 154 hepatitis A cases so far this year, with the “vast majority” occurring since May, according to the emergency declaration from Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. The city, which typically sees two to nine reports of hepatitis Aper year, is investigating other potential cases as well.


By Gabby Galvin

6ABC 2

Health officials in Philadelphia continue efforts to control an outbreak of Hepatitis A. Free vaccinations were offered to people in Kensington on Tuesday.
A little pinch for protection.

Outside the McPherson Square Library, workers from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health were set up to offer free Hepatitis A vaccinations.


By Staff


Health officials in Philadelphia have declared a public health emergency over the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. Health Commissioner Thomas Farley explains what exactly the virus is and what the symptoms are.


By Staff

HF Monitor at PES Refinery


The city’s health department downplayed the incident Wednesday, saying its Air Management Services (AMS) inspectors suspected the gas meter was not properly calibrated, and requested that the refinery and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency double-check the tests.

“Both confirmed that there was no HF present in the air,” James Garrow, the health department spokesperson, said in an email. “The AMS inspectors took the improperly calibrated meter out of service.”


By Andrew Maykuth


Garrow conceded, however, that one of the city’s meters, which was being used to confirm PES’s own zero readings, had not been functioning properly.

“[Air Monitoring Service] inspectors tested for the presence of HF to confirm the zero readings reported by PES,” Garrow said. “Due to the meter not being properly calibrated, the inspectors requested that the EPA and PES confirm the zero readings. Both confirmed that there was no HF present in the air. The AMS inspectors took the improperly calibrated meter out of service.”


By Dana Bate

Hahnemann Closure Effect on Other Hospitals

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and city leaders are meeting regularly with the hospitals affected by Hahnemann’s closure, said James Garrow, a spokesperson for the city Health Department.

“While the city doesn’t have regulatory oversight of any hospital, nor can we compel any hospital to change their practices, we are working with each of the other hospitals together to make sure that every patient who is affected by the Hahnemann closure has a place to get care in the most frictionless way. As in everything, the devil is in the details, but we’re happy that the hospital community in Philadelphia has come together and is working to make sure that everyone is taken care of,” Garrow said in an email.

By Sarah Gantz

Sugary Snacks Campaign Controversy

James Garrow, city health department spokesperson, said efforts are being made to apologize for any hurt feelings, as well as to thank commenters for helping to clarify the difference between Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

However, Garrow said, “Nearly every comment that we’ve received has been appreciative of the underlying goal of the campaign: to fight childhood obesity.”


By Rita Giordano


A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health apologized for “any hurt” that the campaign caused. He also stated that the campaign was focused on Type 2 diabetes rather than Type 1.

“Given that 17% of children in Philadelphia today are overweight and 22% are obese, which is a sign that they are already at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, we felt that something had to be done,” the spokesperson wrote.


By David Chang and Keith Jones


Health officials say they apologize to anyone who is offended by the language on the billboards. They say the focus is on childhood obesity and its connection to diabetes.


By Dave Kinchen

First Heat-Related Death of 2019


The Philadelphia Department of Health said Monday that the death of a man in his 70s in West Philadelphia on Saturday was attributed to the heat. No other details were provided.


By Staff


This is the city’s first heat-related death of 2019. By comparison, during July 1993 in Philadelphia, the medical examiner’s office determined 118 deaths were heat-related, the CDC reported. And officials in Chicago reported two heat-related deaths over the weekend, bringing that city’s total to three for the year.

By Emily Rolen


The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has confirmed a heat-related death in the city’s West Philadelphia section. A man in his 70s was found dead on Saturday.

By Staff


In 2011, 35 people died from heat-related causes in Philadelphia, the largest number of such deaths in the last 10 years. That’s a decrease from the 1990s which saw 361 deaths over the decade, said James Garrow, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Health.

By Ximena Conde



Philly’s Heat Warning System Saves Lives

The health department has met the challenges of heat mortality head on, taking innovative steps to mitigate deaths in recent years. “It used to be that when NWS issued an excessive heat warning, the city would automatically do the same thing, and then all these programs would get implemented,” says Garrow. But by cross-referencing data about when the NWS issued alerts with the city’s data about when people were actually dying from heat-related issues, the health department saw that the NWS-issued heat warnings “didn’t really match up with when we saw deaths.” In response, city has begun to issue heat health emergencies independently from the NWS.


By Ella Comberg

Starbucks Blue Lights

Philadelphia’s Health Department is still giving out blue light bulbs to neighbors who ask for them, according to spokesperson Jim Garrow, but only until the supply runs out. After that, the city will reevaluate the strategy’s effectiveness, he said.

“The opioid epidemic is unprecedented,” Garrow said, “and the city is willing to try a variety of tactics to help support those with opioid use disorder.”


By Michaela Winberg

Heat Health Emergency Declared July 17, 2019


In response to forecast maximum heat indexes over 110, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, MPH has issued a Heat Health Emergency in Philadelphia. This designation begins Wednesday, July 17, at noon and is scheduled to end Sunday, July 21, at 11 p.m.



Philadelphia has declared a heat health emergency starting Wednesday at noon, and announced Thursday it would be extended through Monday at 11 p.m. The emergency declaration, which comes after a National Weather Service prediction of heat index values as high as 110 degrees this weekend, kicks into effect city services designed to keep people cool and safe from the dangers of excessive heat.


By Catalina Jaramillo


“We strongly urge the public to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to ensure that air conditioners or fans are working and homes are adequately ventilated,” Farley said. “In a heat wave, the majority of the victims are older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions.”


By Max Bennett


The City of Philadelphia also issued its first heat health emergency of the summer, joining other area communities, including Camden, Mercer and Montgomery counties and Wilmington, in launching initiatives for helping people more susceptible to the heat.

“We strongly urge the public to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to ensure that air conditioners or fans are working and homes are adequately ventilated,” Philly Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. “In a heat wave, the majority of the victims are older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions.”


By FirstAlert Weather Team


The official declaration, issued by Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, means the city’s Heatline, a special helpline number, will be open for calls. The Heatline offers health and safety tips, and connects people with medical professionals to ask about conditions and illnesses made worse from heat.


By Adam Hermann

Philly Magazine

The city has already declared the year’s first Heat Health Emergency, which will remain in effect until Sunday evening. That means some of those aforementioned cooling centers will institute longer hours, and the city will also operate a (ahem) hotline, where you can call for heat-reduction advice. The city also has an extreme weather notification system, for which you can sign up here.


By David Murrell


The City of Philadelphia has declared a Heat Health Emergency.

This Emergency begins Wednesday, July 17, at 12 p.m. and is scheduled to end Sunday, July 21, at 11 p.m.

Due to the extreme heat, the City says it is implementing special measure to keep residents safe.


By Staff


“We strongly urge the public to visit older friends, relatives and neighbors to ensure that air conditioners or fans are working and homes are adequately ventilated. In a heat wave, the majority of the victims are older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said.


By Rob Tornoe and Mariah Rush


The Philadelphia Department of Pubic Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley, MD,MPH says the heat this week could be deadly. In response to the forecast of heat indexes over 110 degrees, Farley has issued a Heat Health Emergency in Philadelphia from Wednesday until Sunday, July 21.


By Justin Udo

Inquirer 2

Head to one of the city’s 60-plus public pools and spraygrounds (think of a smaller version of Dilworth Park’s massive concrete sprinkler system, built into your local playground). Check the city’s online map to see what’s close to you. Pools are open noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and will operate on a free swim schedule until further notice.

“That means that there’s no set program for little kids or adults, so anyone can hop into the pool and cool off,” says James Garrow, the director of communications at the Department of Public Health.


By Bethany Ao

Wall Street Journal

“From our perspective, this is not something to take lightly,” said James Garrow, a spokesman for Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, which has issued a Heat Health Emergency declaration lasting through Sunday.


By Jennifer Calfas

Lewis Lloyd Death

Des Moines Register

Lloyd, one of the Missouri Valley Conference’s all-time greats in his two years with the program, died Friday at age 60. James Garrow, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, told the Register Lloyd died from an accidental “drug intoxication.”


By Tommy Birch

Philly Tribune

James Garrow, spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, confirmed Tuesday that the MEO ruled that Lloyd’s death at the age of 60 last Friday “was accidental and was caused by drug intoxication.”


By Daryl Bell


James Garrow, spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that the medical examiner’s office had determined Lloyd’s death was “accidental from drug intoxication.” No other details would be revealed publicly.


By Mike Jensen