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Philadelphia residents must stay at home unless they are performing essential personal activities. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Sunday that all city residents must stay home effective Monday at 8 a.m. to curb the spread of coronavirus.

All Philadelphia residents are required to remain home unless they are performing essential personal activities, including obtaining food or medical supplies, seeking medical attention, exercising, or working at jobs deemed essential, according to Fox29 Philadelphia.

Kenney's mandate follows last week's suspension of all non-essential business operations.

On Monday afternoon, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced a total of 175 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak. State health officials also announced at least 644 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, with six deaths reported.

Kenney took to Twitter to clarify the "stay-at-home" mandate. He wrote that "outdoor activities such as walking" and "delivery of food or essential goods" are permitted — but "gatherings of any number of people except for essential business and activities" are prohibited.

"Please stay home," Kenney wrote five successive times in one tweet yesterday. 

2019 Engineering master's graduate and Philadelphia resident Deniz Beser said the mandate is "the right move." 

"People need to understand the seriousness of the situation and act on it," Beser said. "That sometimes requires top-down orders. Strong and clear actions will be far more beneficial than prolonged, minor caution.”

Nursing senior Joanna Hu said she supports the mandate, but added that she feels for the small businesses and individuals who may be out of work indefinitely.

"From a public health standpoint, it’s critical to slow down the spread of the disease, especially given that many hospitals are short on supplies," Hu said.

Kenney's mandate follows similar actions from leaders around the country. Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and California Governor Gavin Newsom issued sweeping mandates ordering their states' residents to stay home.

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