PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today announced 154 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 637.
Dr. Farley confirmed two additional fatalities in Philadelphia, bringing the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus to three. One of those fatalities was a resident of a Philadelphia nursing home. “This really emphasizes the risks to nursing homes and nursing home residents. They are the most vulnerable people in this epidemic right now,” he said.
Dr. Farley reiterated that all nursing homes and residential facilities should institute no-visitor policies. “We know many people are not happy with that, but it’s the most important thing we can do to protect everyone in those nursing homes.”
The Health Commissioner also confirmed cases involving an employee of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons and one incarcerated individual. For privacy reasons, the City will not be providing further details of those cases. By way of background, working in concert with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Department of Prisons has inserted screening questions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into the intake medical screening process. PDP has also created a response protocol for PDP clinical staff if signs or symptoms of the coronavirus are suspected in an inmate.
Mayor Kenney announced the City has reached an agreement with Temple University to use the Liacouras Center and other facilities in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The site will be used to expand the City’s hospital bed capacity if brick and mortar hospitals become strained.
“I sincerely want to thank Temple President Richard Englert, Board Chair Mitch Morgan, and the leadership team of the University for stepping up during our time of need,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “They did not hesitate when called, and I am very grateful for their assistance, and leadership as we fight this epidemic.”
“This is a time when all the groups in the city need to come forward and assist the city and its residents fight this disease. As Philadelphia’s public university, this fight is ours, too,” Temple Board Chair Mitch Morgan said.
Last week the City launched the PHL COVID-19 Fund with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia Foundation. The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand the capacity of non-profit organizations working on the frontlines of this pandemic. The Mayor shared that in just nine days, the PHL COVID-19 Fund raised over $8 million. More than 700 individuals contributed to the fund in amounts starting at $25. To date, over $150,000 in individual donations have been contributed.
The Mayor also applauded Aileen and Brian Roberts for their $5 million donation towards the purchase of 50,000 chromebooks by the Philadelphia School District. The 50,000 new laptops will be distributed with the estimated 40,000 laptops already in school buildings to students and families.
Mayor Kenney also personally acknowledged Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons announced today that he is using his influence, voice, resources, and compassion to launch The Philly Pledge. This effort is amplifying the important message for Philadelphians to come together to help Philadelphians in this unprecedented time. Simmons is calling on Philadelphians who are able to support both the PHL COVID-19 Fund and Philabundance to make a pledge at ThePhillyPledge.com.
- City’s COVID-19 homepage: phila.gov/covid-19
- COVID-19 resources translated in multiples languages
- Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: 1 (800) 722-7112
- Residents can text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to get updates sent to their phones
- Citizens Bank Community-Based Testing Site is operational daily pending inclement weather. Find out more about testing for COVID-19.
- Updates and guidance for Philadelphia employees and employers
- Information and resources for workers
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic
- For Businesses
- 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.
- L&I guidance on construction work following City Business Activity and Stay at Home Order
- The City is extending filing and payment dates for Real Estate and some business taxes
- Applications for the Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund are now being accepted. Additional resources for businesses can be found here.
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