PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 524 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 121,772. In addition, the Department of Public Health also announced 109 new probable cases from rapid antigen tests.
The Department of Public Health confirmed five additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 3,244. Of the 3,244 total deaths, 1,175 (36%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 366 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 33 on ventilators.
Vax Up Philly Campaign: The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today unveiled the first phase of its multi-layered, months-long “Vax Up Philly” public awareness and education campaign. The campaign is designed to build confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine by helping address and overcome some legitimate concerns and questions held by residents.
This week, the campaign began reaching target audiences via community newspapers. Outreach will expand through the use of a comprehensive strategy that combines traditional and digital marketing, as well as grassroots efforts. The campaign is slated to run for six months and will adapt as needed to be appropriate to the rapidly changing vaccine roll-out.
According to a recent national survey, nearly 70 percent of Americans say that they would likely get vaccinated. However, that survey showed that only 61 percent of African Americans would likely get vaccinated. Of those who were disinclined to be vaccinated, the top three reasons cited include: concern over side effects (89%), concern that the vaccines were developed too quickly (85%), and a desire to learn more about how well the vaccines work (80%). As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation and region, the Health Department wants to take aggressive action to motivate the public to visit phila.gov/covid to learn about and sign up to get the vaccine.
The campaign draws heavily on activities we as a city can get back to if Philadelphians “vax up.” Examples include:
- Vax Up, Philly! And let’s get back to grabbing a bite together again.
- Vax, Up, Philly! And let’s get back to singing praise together again.
- Vax, Up, Philly! And let’s get back to celebrating together again.
- Vax, Up, Philly! And let’s get back to cheering together again.
- Vax, Up, Philly! And let’s get back to dancing together again.
- Vax, Up, Philly! And let’s get back to family gatherings again.
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 wanting the vaccine.
Ads will appear on:
- Social media
- Neighborhood and multi-cultural publications
- Out-of-Home—such as on public transportation,
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.
Other creative avenues for message distribution as part of the “Vax Up Philly” campaign will include:
- Educational videos by community leaders and health care heroes with critical information about the vaccine.
- Murals and artwork developed by local Philadelphia artists in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia.
- Virtual town hall forums.
“The best weapons we have against COVID-19 are vaccines,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Now that we have three highly effective and safe vaccines and our vaccine distribution network is growing, we need to help Philadelphians feel comfortable taking them. In addition to having folks out there every day having conversations about the vaccine, we’re going to use the same tools that Madison Avenue uses to convince us to do unhealthy things. But instead, we’ll use those tools to protect people and save lives.”
Vaccine Provider Request for Proposals First-Round Awardees Announced: Dr. Farley announced that the following organizations are among those that applied to the Health Department’s RFP to provide vaccine services and information to people who are traditionally under-represented and hard-to-reach, and have been notified that their proposal was accepted:
- Albert Einstein Medical Center
- Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium
- MyDoc Urgent Care
- Sunray Drugs
- Temple University
- Temple College of Public Health
- Thomas Jefferson Hospital
Specific details about the contracts and budgets are still being finalized. The committee that reviewed these proposals was made up of representatives from different divisions of the Department of Public Health, as well as representatives from the Department of Commerce and City Council. The RFP is still open and the Health Department is accepting applications.
File Philadelphia BIRT, NPT, Earnings, and School Income Tax by May 17: Philadelphia taxpayers now have until May 17, 2021, to file and pay Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT), Net Profits Tax (NPT), Earnings Tax, and School Income Tax (SIT), without interest or penalties. However, the due date to pay property taxes—for both residents and businesses—remains March 31, 2021.
The City adopted this emergency regulation for BIRT, NPT, Earnings Tax, and SIT to match this year’s due date extensions by the federal government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone struggling to pay their property tax on time should contact the Department of Revenue about an affordable payment agreement or other homeowner assistance programs. For further information on tax relief, residents can go here or call (215) 686-6442.
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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Forms: The City has launched two forms to help Philadelphians register their interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. These forms are not for registering for an appointment, but will tell the Department of Public Health how to contact you when you are eligible and vaccine is available for you.
- Members of the public are encouraged to register using the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form. The form is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and French. Individuals who do not have access to the internet can contact Philly311 (dial 3-1-1) for help completing the interest form.
- Employers are encouraged to complete the Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Form. Employers that complete this form will be contacted to help set up opportunities to vaccinate their prioritized staff when they are eligible and vaccine is available.
- 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.
- Complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form (for individuals) or the Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Form (for employers).
- 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.