PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today announced 127 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 475.
“As the number of cases rises, the risk increases to everyone in the City of Philadelphia,” Dr. Farley said. “Each day it becomes even more important to follow our Stay at Home order.”
Of the 475 confirmed cases, 40 are known to be hospitalized. There have been no fatalities from the virus beyond the case announced Wednesday.
Also today, Mayor Kenney commented on the latest unemployment figures and provisions for worker support in the federal COVID-19 aid package. “Our administration will continue to seek out additional avenues for support, but I want to be realistic about the resources we have available,” he said. “As a local municipality, our resources are limited. We are focused on keeping Philadelphia’s small businesses open and people employed. ”
The Mayor also announced the City is ending its effort to rent the shuttered Hahnemann Hospital facility after negotiations with the owner failed to progress. “We need to focus on the crisis at hand — including the need to develop facilities that will serve as field hospitals, as quarantine space, and as isolation space — facilities that will help save lives,” said the Mayor. “We will focus our energies on working with other property owners in order to find temporary solutions to these absolutely vital needs. And I fully expect that we will find owners who are ready and willing to step up, to work with us, to do what is best for all Philadelphians.”
Citizens Bank Community-Based Testing Site: The site, operated in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, resumed operation today after Wednesday’s inclement weather. The site is strictly limited at this time to either people who are over 50 years of age AND are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus, or healthcare workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with the virus.
Residents with questions can call the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline at 1-800-722-7112. The Helpline, free and available 24/7, is staffed by trained healthcare providers and is for anyone in the Greater Philadelphia area. Members of the public can call to get help answering all of their questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Residents can get COVID-19 updates sent to their phones. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive free alerts with information and updates from the Health Department. Information is also being updated daily on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s webpage www.phila.gov/covid-19.
The City is extending filing and payment dates for Real Estate and some business taxes. The City will honor the federal extensions granted to businesses from the IRS for filing and payments until July 15, 2020 for the Business Income and Receipts Tax and the Net Profits Tax. This policy includes estimated payments.
Resources for Businesses: Applications for the Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund are now being accepted. The fund is a tiered program providing targeted support for small businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and resulting business closures. It offers a mix of new grants and zero-interest loans for businesses that make under $5 million in annual revenue. Additional resources for businesses can be found here.
Business owners or managers who have questions about the restrictions in the City’s latest Business Activity and Stay at Home Order can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurants may provide food through delivery or pickup, drive-through, and online or phone ordering only. Walk-in ordering and dine-in services are prohibited. Residents or employees who believe a business is in violation of current restrictions are urged to contact 311.
Construction activity: In response to Governor Wolf ordering a shutdown of construction sites in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections has provided details in this post. All construction work must stop by Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. unless a waiver has been obtained from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Resources for workers have been added to the phila.gov/covid-19 page. A blog post will be updated with additional resources as they become available. The post includes a survey for workers affected by COVID-19 to gain more information about the impact.
The PHL COVID-19 Fund, which was launched last week, continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic. This fund will deliver grants to nonprofits that are providing urgent resources throughout the Philadelphia region. Individuals and organizations can donate at PHLCOVID19Fund.org.