PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 186 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 16,040. While the daily count has remained low over the past few days, some labs do not report results over the weekend, and the City has not yet received all backlogged results.
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 41.
While the number of cases rose, the Department of Public Health confirmed no additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This means the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia stands at 726. Of the 726 total deaths, 385 (53%) were long-term care facility residents. (Please note that the cumulative total of fatalities has decreased by one since yesterday, as an earlier death had been classified as COVID in error).
The Department of Public Health reports 982 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,807 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley voiced concern about residents enjoying the warm weather without adhering to social distancing guidelines, including wearing masks. “We need to establish the expectation that people wear masks when out of the home. People want to return to normal activity, but we won’t be able to do that safely unless everyone protects each other by wearing masks.”
Mental Health Awareness Month: May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Mayor Kenney announced today the launch of a new public awareness campaign sponsored by the City and Independence Blue Cross. The campaign, called #mindPHL Together, aims to:
- Bring an improved community understanding of mental health and well-being;
- Reduce the stigma associated with needing mental health support;
- Encourage Philadelphians to seek help for themselves and others; and
- Offer vital support needed by those impacted by mental health challenges.
“Amid the heightened uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental well-being is more important than ever,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “During this unprecedented time, many of us are experiencing loss, anxiety, stress, or overwhelming sadness. I want to remind Philadelphians to be mindful, know you are not alone, and that it’s okay to seek help for these and other symptoms.”
The campaign includes a new website, MindPHLtogether.com, to make mental health resources more readily available to all Philadelphians. The site is a joint effort between the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and Independence Blue Cross. [Note to editors: the Campaign is pronounced ‘Mindful Together’ but spelled MindPHL Together.]
District Council 33 Agreement: Mayor Kenney today announced that the City has reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract extension with District Council 33. The current contracts with all four municipal worker unions expire at the end of June, and all unions have agreed to one-year extensions.
The contract extension includes a 2 percent increase in each step of each pay range in the District 33 pay plan. It also includes one-time bonuses of $250, $475 or $750, depending on whether the employee worked onsite during the pandemic throughout the month of April for the majority of their time. Local 159B, which represents Correctional Officers and Youth Detention Counselors, will receive 2.5 percent increase.
“I know this has been a challenging time for all City workers, and I am grateful to all of our employees for their efforts to keep the City running in the midst of a public health and economic crisis,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “With all four of our municipal unions agreeing to extensions, we can focus on the challenges at hand and give all parties time to determine what makes the most sense for a longer-term deal in light of the unprecedented circumstances we now face.”
James Beard Foundation’s Awards Nominee Announcement: Today at 4 p.m. Philadelphia will be represented globally during the James Beard Foundation’s Awards Nominee Announcement. Hosted in partnership with VISIT PHILADELPHIA, this first-ever virtual presentation will feature special appearances by a handful of Philadelphia’s award-winning chef talent and food & beverage leaders. Philadelphia has ten James Beard Award Semifinalists in the running, with 13 overall in the state of Pennsylvania. The nominee announcement will be made on @BeardFoundation’s Twitter account.
Testing Sites: A list of available testing sites is provided on the City’s website. Click on “Where Can Someone Get Tested?” The list includes private testing sites being run by hospital systems and other organizations across the city, as well as public testing sites.If individuals are not able to get tested through their medical provider or do not have a medical provider, they can be tested at a public testing site.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health, along with the Health Federation of Philadelphia, is working with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Philadelphia to expand testing capabilities in underserved communities. Recommended criteria for testing eligibility at the sites are:
- Age 50+ and symptomatic.
- People under 50 who are at high risk for severe illness due to chronic conditions and are symptomatic.
- Health care workers (defined broadly) who are symptomatic or are asymptomatic with close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
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.
- City’s COVID-19 homepage: phila.gov/covid-19.
- COVID-19 resources translated into 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- L&I requirements for resuming construction activity in Philadelphia.
- The City is extending filing and payment dates for Real Estate and some business taxes.
Resources for Media: