PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 601 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 67,025. In addition, the Department of Public Health also announced 59 new probable cases from rapid antigen tests.
The Department of Public Health confirmed nine additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,985. Of the 1,985 total deaths, 930 (47%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 820 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 79 on ventilators.
Business Tax Relief: The Department of Revenue today announced three changes aimed at providing Philadelphia businesses with additional relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I recognize that none of these changes will be enough to fully overcome the impact of an economic downturn that has hit certain sectors—including restaurants—tremendously,” said Mayor Kenney. “But rest assured that within the constraints of the City’s own budget challenges, we are looking for new ways to provide relief. At the same time, we have been advocating endlessly for additional funding from the state and federal governments to provide you with more support, and we’ll continue to do so.”
The changes are as follows:
- Amending U&O guidance to exempt the portion of restaurants and bars used for indoor dining from Use & Occupancy Tax: This initiative will exempt restaurants and bars from Use & Occupancy tax on the square footage of the business used for indoor dining (dining room space) during the period when indoor dining is prohibited. This exemption is for this most recent “Safer at Home” phase and would be effective from November 20, 2020 through January 1, 2021.
- Businesses can amend BIRT returns and receive a refund: Under this initiative, the Revenue Department will provide guidance and instructions to businesses that if they feel they overestimated their 2020 BIRT estimated payment, they can amend the return and provide a new, more realistic, estimated payment and have the difference refunded. It would take six to eight weeks for businesses to receive refunds.
- Extending Refuse Fee due dates: Under this measure, the full $500 refuse fee is now due by June 30, 2021. Previously, half of the annual fee was due December 31, 2020.
More information on the first two changes, involving the U&O and BIRT taxes, can be found here. Information on the refuse fee change can be found here.
New Business Resource Tool on Phila.gov: This has been a difficult year for businesses in Philadelphia and around the country. To further support the city’s small businesses and entrepreneurial community, the Department of Commerce recently launched a new resource tool that can help connect local business owners and entrepreneurs with organizations that offer guidance on starting, running, and growing a business. On the Business Resource Finder, users can search for free or low-cost services available to Philadelphia businesses, including funding opportunities, legal assistance, workshops, and more. The Business Resource Finder can be accessed at phila.gov/commerce.
The Department of Commerce’s Office of Business Services can also help businesses navigate City services and regulations, as well as assist people through the process of opening, operating, or growing a business in Philadelphia. They can be reached by calling the City’s business services hotline (215-683-2100) or by emailing email@example.com.
Giving Tuesday: Mayor Kenney today encouraged those who are able to make monetary donations to consider contributing to local nonprofits and other organizations focused on food access. “While our communities face a number of very real issues as a result of this pandemic, one area where we know donations can have an immediate impact is food access,” he noted.
The City has partnered with several nonprofits to provide free food to those in need throughout the pandemic, including: Step Up to the Plate, Share Food Program, and Philabundance. Individuals and families who need food can visit phila.gov/food or call 311 to find a pickup location.
Virtual City Hall Holiday Tree Lighting: The 2020 City of Philadelphia Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony will be broadcast on 6abc, tomorrow, Wednesday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. Viewers from across the region are invited to experience the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Tree powered by NRG from the comfort and safety of their own homes. This year’s ceremony was filmed in advance to ensure the health and safety of all participants, as well as the general public. For more information, visit PhillyHolidayExperience.com.
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.
- 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 how to comply with the City’s restrictions 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:
- Recordings of COVID-19 briefings (Subtitles available in multiple languages).
- COVID-19 press releases.