Last updated: 5/20 1:00 p.m.

As local organizations and institutions respond to the spread of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, we will collect that information here and keep it updated. If you have information to share, let us know via email. — Pete Mazzaccaro

The City of Philadelphia has a new text alert system all about Covid-19. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.

The US Center for Disease Control has a page dedicate to the most up-to-date COVID-19 information on this page.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health also has a page of information here. The page includes daily updates and other important facts for state residents.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health also has an information page here. The landing page has FAQ for identifying the virus, seeking treatment and guidance for institutions and small businesses.

The Chestnut Hill Business District is keeping a page with the latest info on the business district, including measures area businesses and restaurants are taking and any changes in hours of operation.

A guide to local restaurants operating takeout can be found here.

KeepItOnTheHill promotion to support local businesses is here.

Click here for the latest news stories regarding coronavirus.COVID-19 cases by zip code.

LATEST

Wawa Welcome America: The City of Philadelphia today announced that the annual Wawa Welcome America festival will be hosted virtually in 2020. This year’s festival will be reimagined to create meaningful, at-home experiences that incorporate arts, culture, history, entertainment, and more in celebration of America’s Birthday. For more information on this announcement, visit WelcomeAmerica.com/media.

SEPTA Service to return to normal schedule May 17, but Chestnut Hill West and East lines to remain closed.

Important Info

City announces new guidelines for testing

Expanded Testing Standards: The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is now recommending COVID-19 coronavirus testing for anyone regardless of age who has a new cough, is experiencing new shortness of breath, or two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, new loss of taste or smell. The expansion of testing recommendations comes as a result of the increasing availability of coronavirus testing at public health and commercial laboratories. Increased testing for the coronavirus is a key part of the City’s and Pennsylvania’s plan to re-open safely. More details can be found here.

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 one of the public testing sites listed on the website.

Important Info

The City’s current order for residents to stay at home and business closures can be found here.

Census

All Philadelphia residents are encouraged to complete the census for their household online at 2020census.gov or by mail when forms are distributed.

Election information 

Tuesday, June 2 is the new date for Pennsylvania’s Presidential Primary ElectionMay 18 is the last day to register to vote before the primary, and May 26 is the last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot. Mail-in ballots are now allowed for the Presidential Primary Election. For the latest information, visit PhiladelphiaVotes.com.

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Going Outdoors

Residents are reminded that a Stay at Home Order is in effect; however, outdoor activities such as walking, running, and cycling are permitted while following appropriate social distancing rules. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health defines social distancing as maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. 

Schools

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the states charter and public schools were closed “until further notice.” School districts were instructed to transition all learning online. For more, see the state’s FAQ page here.

Taxes

The City has extended filing and payment dates for Real Estate and some business taxes. The City will honor the federal extensions granted to businesses from the IRS for filing and payments until July 15, 2020 for the Business Income and Receipts Tax and the Net Profits Tax. This policy includes estimated payments.

For commercial and residential property owners who are unable to pay their Real Estate Tax by March 31, the Department of Revenue has extended the deadline to pay an additional 30 days. The due date for 2020 Real Estate Taxes is now April 30, 2020. The deadline to apply for an installment payment plan for 2020 Real Estate Tax has also been extended until April 30, 2020. These plans have always been available to all seniors and low-income homeowners. Taxpayers who can file and pay their taxes by April 15, 2020 are strongly encouraged to do so. This will help ensure continuity of City and School District operations.

The City published an informational webpage with guidance for taxes here.

Resources for Businesses:

Business owners or managers who have questions about the restrictionsin the City’s latest Business Activity and Stay at Home Order can email vbeoc@phila.gov. Restaurants may provide food through delivery or pickup, drive-through, and online or phone ordering only. Walk-in ordering and dine-in services are prohibited. Residents or employees who believe a business is in violation of current restrictions are urged to contact 311. 

Loans and Other Assistance: For business owners themselves, who are ineligible for unemployment benefits, the state’s resource page (https://dced.pa.gov/resources/) is currently steering people toward PIDA loans and their local economic development organization, which for us is the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). As mentioned in the last update, PIDC is actively working with the City on development of a small business aid program, which is projected to include both grants and loan options. As of this morning, the program is not yet launched, but we will inform members once it is announced.

KIVA (www.phila.gov/programs/kiva/) is a private crowdfunded loan platform which is an official City partner, that offers 0% interest loans to small business owners, and they have increased their maximum loan size to $15,000 as a result of the crisis. Because of the nature of the funding method, these loans can take some time to fully fund, but they are an affordable capital source that is worth considering alongside other options, especially if you have a strong social network who may support and share your lending request. 

Resources for workers

A FAQ for workers has been added to the phila.gov/covid-19 page. A blog post will be updated with additional resources as they become available. The post includes a survey for workers affected by COVID-19 to gain more information about the impact.

Unemployment:  

The state has a special page at https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx about COVID-19 related unemployment, and a useful FAQ at https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Employer-COVID19-FAQs.aspx. In a nutshell, current rules state that a business’ employees are eligible for unemployment if temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 related closure; however, the business owner is not eligible, and is currently limited to seeking loans from available sources.

Parking Restrictions

The Philadelphia Parking Authority reminds drivers that while the Authority is not enforcing kiosk and meter parking violations, they are enforcing and ticketing for safety violations – like blocking fire hydrants or parking in handicapped spaces and loading zones.  It is important that people not block any fire hydrants – and not block any loading zones or other restricted parking areas. It is vitally important that motorists park legally and not block access for emergency or other vehicles providing life-sustaining supplies. Unfortunately if they do – they will be towed from fire hydrants and loading zones.

The PHL COVID-19 Fund, which was launched last week, continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic. This fund will deliver grants to nonprofits that are providing urgent resources throughout the Philadelphia region. Individuals and organizations can donate at PHLCOVID19Fund.org.PA Department of Health map tracks cases by county

Testing

  1. First, you should have experienced actual symptoms. Even though you can carry the disease without showing signs, if you get tested while you’re asymptomatic, it might be too early to detect and you could get a false negative, Farley explained.
  2. If you indeed have a fever, dry cough, or are experiencing shortness of breath, then you need to call your regular healthcare provider. They’ll be the ones who can recommend you get tested at one of the sites. Qualifications are different at each — for example, the Jefferson sites reportedly require a referral from a Jefferson doc.
  3. At that point, you can get a test at no cost, according to the health commissioner. No insurance is necessary, and no deductible or copay will be required.