PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 200 additional presumptive confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 9,214.
The Department of Public Health again noted clusters of positive cases in congregate settings, including nursing homes, behavioral health facilities, and the Department of Prisons. No additional inmates have tested positive. The current total of positive cases at correctional facilities is 56.
The Department of Public Health confirmed 22 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 365. Of the 365 total deaths, 183 (50%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 900 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,680 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).
Federal Aid: Mayor Kenney has joined other U.S. mayors in writing to President Trump, voicing concern about the fate of emergency federal aid for cities, counties and states. The Mayor’s letter comes amid reports that the White House and Senate majority leadership are strongly resisting efforts to include funding that would replenish small business aid programs in the “Interim Supplemental” package now being negotiated.
“Providing direct, flexible funding that allows cities to replace lost revenue is critically important to ensure that the economies of our communities are best positioned to quickly rebound once the immediate health crisis passes,” said the Mayor in his letter. “Without this assistance, cities like Philadelphia will be forced to take drastic steps to balance their budgets, including massive layoffs and drastic cuts to vital services, which will deprive residents of the services they need, exacerbate the damage being done to local economies, and lessen the possibility of a speedy economic recovery. The health of our people and our economies are dependent on your actions in the coming days and weeks.”
Copies of the Mayor’s letter to the President, as well as an earlier letter on the need for direct assistance to cities like Philadelphia, are available to members of the media on request.
National Volunteer Week: Today marks the start of National Volunteer Week, and the City is recognizing volunteers for all of their contributions. The City especially wants to offer thanks to those assisting with the pandemic response for their service and direct interested individuals towards available volunteer opportunities.
“In a city where one-quarter of the residents live at or below the poverty line, volunteers are always vital to helping those who are most vulnerable,” said Mayor Kenney. “But the importance of volunteers has never been greater than right now, in the midst of a pandemic. To all of those who have risked their own personal safety to help, you have our sincere thanks. Please know that your spirit and heart are the reasons I’m confident Philadelphia will get through this.”
Anyone who is interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities can read more here. Residents can also visit the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service’s volunteer portal and sign up to support the City’s COVID-19 emergency response at serve.volunteermatch.org.
Following are just a few examples of how volunteers have made tremendous contributions to the City’s COVID-19 response:
Increasing Food Access
Volunteers play a vital role in helping the City and partners meet the growing need for free and nutritious food during COVID-19. Over the last three weeks, more than 55,000 boxes of free produce and nonperishable food have been distributed through 40 City-supported food sites. These food boxes are built, packed, and prepared for distribution by warehouse staff and volunteers. Individuals can sign up for volunteer shifts at the warehouse.
Improving Outreach to Hard to Reach Communities
Using the format of the Census Champion training and the existing networks and relationships that Philly Counts established through their 2020 Census work, the COVID-19 Community Response Captain outreach initiative relies on volunteers to ensure Philadelphians have access to the resources and services they critically need. The one-hour virtual training is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and French. To date, more than 1,100 people have been trained.
COVID-19 Community Response Captains are a trusted source of information and support. They share information, break down language barriers, and reduce fear and misinformation by providing the answers to the most pressing questions.
Ruth Birchett, founder of Heritage CDC, is one of the thousands of volunteers that Philly Counts has trained. For over 50 years, she has been committed to elevating the quality of life in North Philadelphia through violence prevention and intervention, advocacy, and capacity building for civic leadership. She led several Census Champion Trainings and is now taking part in multiple COVID-19 Community Response Captain trainings. Ruth’s hard work will continue, making sure that the North Philly community has the information and the resources they need to face this public health crisis.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a COVID-19 Community Response Captain can choose the session that works best for them based on time and language using the list of events available at phila.gov/census.
Providing Quality Health Care
The Medical Reserve Corps consists of thousands of volunteers organized to help the Philadelphia Department of Public Health respond to public health emergencies. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have contributed more than 7,000 hours responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus response. While volunteers with medical and health skills are always needed, anyone with a desire to protect and save Philadelphians should volunteer. Interested individuals can learn more about the process to volunteer with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps here.
The Medical Reserve Corps has made a non-medical volunteer available for interviews. Diane Archdeacon has been a MRC volunteer for years and worked throughout the Citizens Bank Park activation. Members of the media who wish to interview Archdeacon should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providing Personal Protective Equipment
Many residents and businesses have volunteered their time and purchases to donate to the City’s COVID-19 response. Examples include Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Fairmount Hardware and Northeast Community Church. These donations have gone directly to help frontline workers, including health care workers and first responders. To date, there have been nearly 350 offers accounting for over 87,400 pieces of PPE critical to our response. More details can be found here.
Testing Sites: The City-run location in Center City continues to serve those who are over the age of 50 and are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as health care workers who are displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 coronavirus. The site is available by appointment only and a referral is required. Those who meet the criteria and want a test can call (267) 491-5870 to obtain a referral.
There are also more than 20 private testing sites across the city run by hospital systems and other organizations.
- City’s COVID-19 homepage: phila.gov/covid-19.
- COVID-19 resources translated in multiple languages.
- Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: 1 (800) 722-7112.
- Residents can text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to get updates sent to their phones.
- 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:
- Financial support and 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 email@example.com.
- 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.
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