PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 137 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 24,475. Today’s total covers a two-day span, since Saturday, June 13.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “The Health Department continues to see encouraging news about COVID-19 coronavirus in Philadelphia. The number of daily cases identified is lower and the number of people getting tested is increasing. These numbers suggest that most residents in most situations are behaving safely. For Philadelphia to safely restart more activities, residents will have to continue to wear masks when they are around other people, stay six feet away from others, and wash their hands frequently.”
The Department of Public Health noted continued progress in congregate settings, including nursing homes and the Department of Prisons. Current and cumulative totals of both symptomatic and asymptomatic positive cases in Philadelphia prisons are now posted on the testing and data page of the City’s COVID-19 website.
The Department of Public Health confirmed two additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,474. Of the 1,474 total deaths, 761 (52%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 285 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 488 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).
Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Request for Proposals: The Philadelphia Department of Public Health continues to accept proposals for organizations looking to become or continue to work as a COVID-19 Community Testing Program. The Community Testing Program RFP looks to establish test sites for underserved populations across Philadelphia. The latest RFP is available on the City’s COVID-19 website here.
Real Estate Tax Deadline: As a reminder, 2020 Real Estate Taxes are due today, Monday, June 15, 2020. Taxpayers who have not previously paid can do so over the phone, by mail or electronically. More details are on the Department of Revenue’s blog at phila.gov/revenue. Taxpayers who are unable to pay for any reason should reach out to the Department at (215) 686-6442.
During the Yellow Phase, the public will not be permitted to come into the Municipal Services Building (MSB) to make an in-person payment without an appointment. Appointments will be available starting the week of June 22 at the MSB, and Revenue will share instructions about how to schedule as soon as they are available.
Revenue Projections Update for Media: Reporters are reminded that City officials will be available via Zoom to update reporters on the latest revenue projections, six weeks after Mayor Kenney presented a revised budget proposal to City Council. The briefing will take place today at 2 p.m. Please email email@example.com if you did not receive the earlier advisory with Zoom login information.
Philadelphia’s Road to Economic Recovery: With the region’s move to the “yellow” phase under Governor Wolf’s reopening plan on June 5 and the civil unrest that took place in the days prior to reopening, the City of Philadelphia and its partners are preparing an approach to economic recovery that focuses our programs and systems to be more inclusive and equitable. The approach will include intentional, targeted investments to support people of color and communities that have experienced disinvestment. The City of Philadelphia, led by the Department of Commerce and in collaboration with external economic and workforce development partners, uses a four-part framework for economic recovery:
- Respond: Deliver resources to the most vulnerable businesses and communities and maximize opportunities to sustain employment. Provide immediate relief to entrepreneurs and employers in a transparent and efficient way.
- Restart: Build confidence in the market to drive demand and support businesses seeking to adapt to new conditions. Provide clear, actionable guidance and critical resources to entrepreneurs, employers and dislocated workers during the reopening process.
- Recharge: Regain the momentum we lost by positioning entrepreneurs, employers and our workforce for growth. Identify and develop new opportunities to drive local business demand and build greater resilience among our most vulnerable businesses and communities.
- Reimagine: Seize bold opportunities that may have never seemed possible, amplifying our strengths, and ensuring equitable growth for the future. Reimagine and reinvent the industries and jobs of the future in ways that increase access and opportunity for all.
Today, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia announced the Philadelphia Regional Recharge and Recovery Taskforce—a diverse, cross sector group of leaders spearheading an effort to recharge the regional economy as the area begins to recuperate from the impact of COVID-19. The initiative will examine operating challenges and develop actionable plans to help fast-track key industry sector growth, while minimizing continued economic disruption.
“As we reopen the city, we must approach our short- and long-term plans for economic recovery in equitable, more inclusive ways,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “By bringing together diverse leaders from across our region and representing a variety of industries, the Philadelphia Regional Recharge and Recovery Taskforce allows all of us to approach economic recovery collectively, while still keeping our most pressing needs at the forefront of local efforts.”
The findings of the regional effort will help inform the City’s two main economic recovery initiatives—the Equitable Entrepreneurship Assessment and Strategy and the Workforce COVID-19 Response and Recharge Plan.
“In a city like Philadelphia, where we know our residents face unique challenges due to high poverty and other systemic conditions, it is critical that we focus our resources on helping our most vulnerable business owners and workers,” added Mayor Kenney.
These efforts will be geared towards creating more targeted opportunities for economic mobility and wellbeing, fostering the creation of quality jobs, enhancing vibrant neighborhood commercial corridors, and capitalizing on Philadelphia’s natural assets and strengths.
- Equitable Entrepreneurship Assessment and Strategy: The City will focus its resources on the most vulnerable business owners and entrepreneurs. United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the City of Philadelphia, and PIDC are partnering on a comprehensive assessment of the existing local entrepreneurial landscape. The findings from that assessment will help develop actionable recommendations to increase effectiveness, fill gaps, and address opportunities for further investment, with a specific focus on resources available to diverse business owners—including people of color, immigrants, and women—who have traditionally been underrepresented in the business community. The initial phase of work will include an impact assessment and immediate recommendations addressing the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in Philadelphia and recommendations for recovery. The project will be led by a diverse consultant team composed of Next Street, Urbane Development, Econsult Solutions, and SourceLink.
- Workforce COVID-19 Response and Recharge Plan: Philadelphia Works and the City of Philadelphia, in collaboration with employers, economic development, education, and workforce partners, are developing actionable plans, both short- and long-term, to address the crisis of unemployment caused by COVID-19, with a strategic focus on its disproportionate impact on residents of color. The collaborative process will help ensure an inclusive pipeline of local talent is equipped with the skills employees need to compete in a post-COVID economy. The project will be supported by a Wharton MBA consultant team, who will assist with research and project management.
“It’s clear that our city is hurting, and throughout this crisis, it has been devastating to see the impact on Philadelphia workers and our local businesses,” said Sylvie Gallier Howard, Acting Commerce Director. “This pandemic put our city’s economic inequalities front and center, which have now been magnified even more so by the protests demanding accountability and change in light of George Floyd’s murder. While we know the road to a full economic recovery will be long, the collaborative steps we are taking now will drive an inclusive approach, helping us rebuild a better, stronger economy that works for all. Philadelphia has always been a city of innovation; now is our chance to prove that once again as we reimagine what our economy can look like moving forward.”
In addition to these strategies for long-term economic recovery, the City also recently announced two new funding options for businesses that have been impacted by successive crises—the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest. The new efforts include:
- $1.4 million in initial funding for the Restore and Reopen Program. The new grant program is dedicated to helping businesses in historically disadvantaged communities that experienced damage or inventory loss from the recent civil unrest. The Commerce Department is partnering with the Merchants Fund, who will administer the program, and is actively seeking to raise additional funds in order to reach more impacted businesses. Application guidelines will be posted on merchantsfund.org and circulated to Commerce’s community partners once available.
- $3 million Restart PHL Loan Fund. Created by PIDC, this program provides flexible low-cost capital to small businesses with less than $5 million in revenue for costs associated with improved business resilience or growth, including working capital, fit-up, inventory, technology, mobilization, re-hiring and employee training.The fund is targeted to historically disadvantaged communities with a specific focus on Black- and Brown-owned businesses located on commercial corridors in low-income areas. The loan application will be released along with additional program details later this month.
Business owners in the Philadelphia region are encouraged to fill out a new survey meant to inform government officials about the resources needed to reopen safely. The survey is available in English, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Testing Site Map: A testing site finder at phila.gov/testing helps people find a free COVID-19 test in Philadelphia. Anyone can search for a site by address, click on a map location for specific site information, and filter by day of week and by drive-thru or walk-up.
Guidance for COVID-19 Testing for Protestors: Because of the large number of people that have participated in protest activities in Philadelphia, the Department of Public Health believes that there may be an increased likelihood that participants may have been exposed to COVID-19. Those who were at or near a protest—even if they wore a mask—should follow these recommendations to combat the spread of the virus:
- Monitor for symptoms like new-onset fever, cough, or shortness of breath for 14 days.
- Try to stay away from other people for 14 days; if you can’t stay at home, be sure to wear a mask properly and try to stay at least six feet from others.
- Get tested for COVID-19 seven days after having been in a crowd; those seeking testing do NOT need to identify that they were at a protest but instead should say they were near someone who may have had COVID-19.
- 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.
- Businesses with questions about the applicability of the new Safer-at-Home Order’s guidelines to their operations should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic.
Resources for Media: