City launches a marketing campaign to normalize universal mask use in Philadelphia 

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 159 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 27,228.

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 1,627. Of the 1,627 total deaths, 835 (51%) were long-term care facility residents.

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.

Mask Up Campaign: The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) today unveiled its citywide “Mask Up” marketing campaign designed to mobilize all residents, workers and visitors to adhere to the now-mandatory requirement of wearing face masks in public. This week, the campaign will begin reaching target audiences via digital ads and exterior of SEPTA buses. The outreach will expand through the use of a comprehensive strategy that combines traditional and digital marketing, as well as grassroots efforts.

According to a recent survey, approximately three-quarters of Philadelphians agree or strongly agree that everyone in Philadelphia needs to wear a mask every time they leave the house. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation and region, and case rates remain steady in Philadelphia, PDPH wants to take aggressive action to motivate the proper, continual use of masks by everyone out in public.

“The majority of Philadelphians understand that wearing masks is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19. But with mixed messaging at the federal level, we know that one in four Philadelphians are still on the fence or opposed to wearing masks,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I urge these folks to get with the program and wear a mask. It will protect your neighbors just as they are protecting you with their masks.”

Mask up Philadelphia campaign image of people wearing masks that say "Love your neighbor wear a mask"

The campaign draws heavily on creating a sense of empowerment and on community working together to conquer the pandemic. Leveraging two of the strongest and most distinctive characteristics that define Philadelphia—brotherly and sisterly love, as well as a never-give-up grit and resilient attitude—the campaign developed two messaging tracks to resonate powerfully and drive behavioral change:

  • “Love your neighbor. Wear a mask.”
  • “Philly never backs down. Mask up.”

The messaging will be communicated with the goals of both widespread reach and an enhanced effort that targets populations that are at higher risk and/or trend toward not wearing masks in public. Ads will appear on social media, in print newspapers, on radio and out-of-home—such as on public transportation and mobile billboards. In addition, posters and flyers will be distributed through grassroots outreach efforts. These include using stores on commercial corridors, high-traffic grocers, and convenience stores as resources for display/material distribution, as well as flyer drops at houses of worship and in City-sponsored free meal boxes.

“What matters most with masks is consistency—everyone, every time they are in public should wear a mask,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Already, most Philadelphia residents are wearing masks most of the time, but to avoid a second epidemic wave, we need to make wearing masks the new normal. This campaign will show people exactly what to do and remind Philadelphians why to do it – because we care about each other and because we are tougher than the virus.”

The City and Commonwealth’s mandatory mask orders require that coverings be worn in any indoor public space, as well as outdoors if there is less than six feet between people who don’t already live together.

  • A mask or face covering must be worn by any individual around other people.
  • Even while wearing a mask, safe distancing should be practiced.
  • To be effective, a mask or face covering must be worn correctly and cover the mouth and nose.
  • Remember that a mask protects not only the person wearing it but also those around him and her.

View or download campaign materials.

Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund: The Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund—created to provide emergency direct cash assistance to workers and families impacted by COVID-19 who were left out of all federal and state relief—launched this week. Because of the vast need and limited resources, there will not be an open call for applications for this fund. Instead, the City is working with trusted community-based organizations (CBOs) to identify individuals/families in need within the communities they serve. Fourteen CBOs will serve as partners connecting individuals who are ineligible for other relief to the Fund.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw and heard the stories of many Philadelphians who were unable to access federal and state relief for a variety of reasons,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Often, the people left out of government relief packages were the very workers helping to keep us all safe, healthy and fed while our city combats the virus. With the Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund, we hope to provide these individuals and their families with some critical aid to help ease their stress during these difficult times. By working with trusted community organizations, we are able to connect with folks who may otherwise be difficult to reach; and this partnership also helps build the relationship between CBOs and the Mayor’s Office of Labor for longer-term engagement on workers’ rights and other issues.”

Initial funding of $750,000 was provided by Open Society Foundations. With over $1.7 million in philanthropic funding commitments so far, the goal is to raise a total of $3 million in order to provide a one-time direct cash payment to more than 3,500 families. Donors who have contributed to the Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund include: Open Society Foundations, the Albert and Mary Douty Foundation, William Penn Foundation, the Hilles Fund, the Otto Haas Charitable Trust at the recommendation of Janet and John Haas, and Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia has also contributed to the Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund and serves as its fiscal sponsor. Personal donations to the Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund can be made online.

“Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, and we’re proud to carry on that legacy by partnering with the Mayor’s Office to support undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable workers who have been revealed as the essential workers in this pandemic,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations. “Immigrants and undocumented workers have been on the front lines, and keeping our communities moving. Yet, they have been left out of federal relief packages. Mayor Kenney recognizes their contribution to his city, and we commend him for his steadfast support for these essential workers during this difficult time. We know that the funding we are providing is only the tip of the iceberg. We commend additional foundations that are pitching in, and urge federal and state legislatures to include undocumented workers in crisis relief.”

PHL City ID Resumes its Operations: Starting on July 13, 2020, PHL City ID will host pop-up mobile sites in partnership with community-based organizations to provide secure and affordable identification cards to Philadelphia residents. These mobile sites will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays. Those who are interested in getting the ID card must schedule an appointment, and they will receive an email with an appointment confirmation and a message with COVID-19 guidelines that must follow during their appointment. On August 3, the PHL City ID team will resume operations at City Hall, room 167, by appointment only. Members of the public can make their appointments here.

Testing Site Map: A testing site finder at 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.

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