With updated information from Center in the ParkFace to Face Germantown, Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT), Germantown United CDC, Men Who Care of Germantown, Northwest Victim Services, the Germantown Info Hub, and Kensington Voice

This guide was last updated on March 2, 2021. We’ll be updating frequently as we get more information. Email us with suggestions or corrections.

CONTENTS

RESOURCE GUIDE

General Updates

  • For general information about COVID-19 from the city, click here.
  • For regular updates on COVID-19 from the city, click here
  • For COVID-19 text alerts, text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • For the 24/7 Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline, call 1-800-722-7112 to speak with a health care professional. 
  • For information on how to stay safe, click here.
  • For information about home care for someone who is sick, click here
  • For information about home cleaning during COVID-19, click here
  • For information about what to do if you’re sick, go to the CDC’s website.

Back to the top.

“Reopening” the State

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a reopening guidance for communities, schools, workplaces, and events. You can read it here

Philadelphia Updates

In response to rising COVID-19 cases, new “Safer at Home” restrictions” are in place effective on Nov. 20, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021.

Based on recent increases in COVID-19 cases after previous holidays, the city will continue the following restrictions until at least Jan. 15:

  • Indoor dining 
  • Indoor gatherings and events
  • Theaters
  • Colleges 
  • Indoor organized sports 

The following “lower-risk” businesses and activities, which weren’t allowed to operate under the Safer at Home restrictions, resumed operations on Jan. 4:

  • Museums 
  • Outdoor sports
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • In-person learning for high schools 
  • Outdoor catered events 
The following businesses and activities are allowed:
  • Grocery stores and farmers markets
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Home-based construction, repair, renovation and maintenance
  • Manufacturing and warehousing
  • Real estate operations and transactions
  • Health care services
  • Home-based support services, such as home health services
  • Taxis and ride share services
  • Transit
  • Outdoor mobile food carts and trucks
  • Hotels
  • Drive-in events in which people remain in their vehicles
  • Child day care and early learning centers
  • Elementary and middle schools
  • Access Centers for children in elementary and middle school
Capacity Limits:
  • Indoor gatherings and events involving more than one household are prohibited.
  • Religious institutions are allowed to have people indoors, but gatherings must be capped at 5% occupancy or five people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Outdoor gatherings and events are limited to 10% capacity or 10 people per 1,000 square feet for venues with an unknown maximum capacity and should not exceed no more than 2,000 people in an outdoor space. 
    • Individuals at outdoor gatherings must wear masks at all times, and food and drinks should not be served.
  • Restaurants with outdoor dining must limit seats to four people per table, and patrons should be from the same household.
  • Retail stores and indoor malls can continue to operate but at a maximum capacity of five people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Offices should only allow employees who can’t work from home to come in.
Other precautions:
  • Barbershops and beauty salons may continue to operate, but all staff and customers must wear masks. Businesses cannot perform services that require masks to be removed. 
  • Zoos may operate their outside areas only.
  • Outdoor spaces, such as parks, trails, playgrounds and athletic fields, are open for individual use only.
  • To view the most recent updates from the city, click here.
  • To read the city’s guidelines for safe business operations, click here.
Additional Information
  • As the state and city begin to reopen, the city emphasizes that COVID-19 is still spreading in the city and that contact poses a risk to your health.
  • The city wants residents to commit to three basic practices anytime you are outside the home:
    • Wear a mask.
    • Keep at least six feet from others.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Here a few helpful links to better understand reopening:

Pennsylvania Updates

  • As of July 3, all Pennsylvania counties have entered the Green phase of the state’s reopening plan. Philadelphia County is in the Green phase with additional restrictions due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the area.
  • All reopening P.A. businesses are required to follow the state’s COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses.
  • All P.A. residents are required to wear facial masks whenever they leave their house, according to a July 1 executive order by Governor Tom Wolf.
  • For PA counties that are in the Green phase, stay-at-home orders are lifted and most businesses are allowed to reopen.
  • For businesses, this means:
    • Telework Must Continue Where Feasible
    • Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements
    • All Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% Occupancy, Except Where Noted for Bars and Restaurants
    • Masks Are Required in Businesses
    • Child Care May Open Complying with Guidance
    • Congregate Care Restrictions in Place
    • Prison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual Facilities
    • Schools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance
  • For the public this means:
    • Indoor gatherings of more than 25 are prohibited; Outdoor gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited
    • Masks are required in all public spaces
    • Restaurants may open at 50% capacity for Indoor Dining
    • On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; Cocktails-to-go and Carryout Beverages are allowed
    • Serving Alcohol for on-site Consumption Must End at 11:00 PM and All Alcoholic Beverages Must Be Removed From Patrons by Midnight
    • Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment Only
    • Indoor Recreation and Health and Wellness Facilities (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly Encouraged; Fitness Facilities Are Directed to Prioritize Outdoor Fitness Activities
    • All Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% Occupancy
    • Construction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of Protocols
  • To learn more about the state’s reopening, click here.
  • To read the state’s FAQ for Business Operations, click here.

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Symptoms and Precautions

Important information

  • Most people are asymptomatic, which means you will not show symptoms or your symptoms will be mild.
  • Asymptomatic people are still contagious. You can give coronavirus to your parents, grandparents, neighbors, and immunocompromised people without even knowing. This is why you should social distance and stay at home even if you still don’t show symptoms
  • According to a recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwearing a face mask helps protect yourself and other people around you from becoming infected with coronavirus. You should wear a mask even if you don’t show symptoms, just in case you are asymptomatic and not showing any symptoms.

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Below are some, but not all, possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

Precautions

  • Wear a face mask or facial covering.Wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Avoid sick people
  • Practice socially distancing yourself
  • Keep 6 feet space between people

For more information on symptoms and precautions, visit the CDC website.

Back to the top.

Vaccines

General information

City of Philadelphia Vaccine Interest Form

  • The Public Health Department has released a sign-up form for the city’s vaccination rollout. This form will be used to gauge the interest of the COVID-19 vaccine, see what supply is needed, and to gather information of residents to later inform them when their turn is up to receive the vaccine. Residents who already filled out an interest form with Philly Fighting COVID are encouraged to also fill out the city’s form as well. You can fill out the interest form here.
How to get the Covid vaccination in Germantown

According to the city’s list of authorized locations; including pharmacies, public health centers and hospitals, there are five locations in the Germantown Area.

  • Family Practice and Counseling Network (Abbottsford Falls Clinic) | 4700 Wissahickon Ave, 19144 | 215- 843-9720
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health (Health Center 9) |131 E.Chelten Ave, 19144 | 215-685-5701
  • Covenant House Inc. | 251 E.Bringhurst St, 19144 | 215- 951-5411
  • Rite Aid | 6201 Germantown Ave, 19144 | 215-713-2695
  • Oak Street Health (Germantown) | 220 W. Chelten Ave, 19144 | 215-360-3041
  • The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium provides free testing and vaccinations throughout the city. Find out their upcoming dates and locations here.

Testing

COVID-19 diagnostic test vs. antibody test

  • The COVID-19 diagnostic test is available at testing sites across the city. It uses a nasal swab to tell you if you are currently infected with COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the diagnostic test uses swab samples from your respiratory system, like your nose, to see if you have the infection (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. 
  • COVID-19 antibody tests are not yet available at the city-run testing sites. However, some private health care providers, like Vybe Urgent Care, offer them. They use a blood sample to tell you if you were previously infected with COVID-19. No antibody tests have been approved by the FDA. However, they’re permitted under the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Generally, the FDA will give emergency use authorization to antibody tests that are able to detect 90 percent of people with coronavirus antibodies and produce false positives in fewer than 5% of cases. 

Diagnostic testing

Who should get a diagnostic test

According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the following people should get a COVID-19 diagnostic test:

  • A person who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (wait to get tested until seven days after exposure).
  • A person who has at least one of the following symptoms of COVID-19: new or persistent cough, shortness of breath, new loss of sense of smell or test; or at least two of the following: fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion/runny nose.
  • A person who has traveled to another state where there are high numbers of recent transmission of COVID-19. 

The public health department states that testing is prioritized for the following people with symptoms:

  • People who are hospitalized.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions.
  • People who reside or work in congregate settings, including nursing homes, behavioral health facilities, shelters, and prisons.
  • People who are healthcare, public safety, or other essential workers 
  • People who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or are associated with a known cluster of cases.

Who should not get a diagnostic test

  • People who do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who are only mildly sick
  • People who are otherwise healthy and are not feeling short of breath or experiencing worsening cough and fever
  • People who are sick but do not need testing should stay at home away from other people until their symptoms are better
    • Click here to read the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s guidance on home care during quarantine or isolation.

Important information about getting a diagnostic test

  • You need an appointment for all of the city-supported testing sites. You can’t just show up at a testing site.
  • You don’t need a doctor’s referral for the city-supported sites. Just call the listed phone numbers to make an appointment.
  • You don’t need a photo ID or insurance or money to get tested at any of the city-supported testing sites; the test will be done at no cost. However, bring your driver’s license or PHL City ID and insurance card if you have them.
  • You’ll have to check in at the testing site and provide contact information in order to receive your results.
  • You might have to wait a while once you’re at the testing site depending on how busy it is during that time.
  • It may take 2-6 days to receive your results, depending on what laboratory performs the test, which can differ between sites.
  • “Privately run” means that the testing site isn’t run by the government. In Philadelphia, that can include hospitals and health systems and organizations.
  • You might need a referral for the privately run and hospital system testing sites. You’ll need to call the phone numbers listed below for more information.
  • The following sites listed on the city’s website require a telehealth consultation beforehand:
    • American Family Care (AFC) Urgent Care
    • vybe urgent care
  • Telehealth consultations might not be covered by your insurance provider, so you should check beforehand. Exceptions include:
    • Medicare beneficiaries now have expanded telehealth benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, under a new federal rule. You might still have to pay the usual coinsurance and deductible, but some providers are reducing or waving those costs. For more information, go here or here.
    • The state’s Office of Medical Assistance Programs issued a guidance to providers that telemedicine can be used to provide services to Medicaid fee-for-service beneficiaries and Physical HealthChoices members, and the state will pay for it. For more information, click here.
  • These sites only perform testing. If you have a worsening cough, shortness of breath, or fever over 101 for more than three days, please seek medical attention from your primary care provider, an urgent care clinic, or a hospital emergency department (call in advance to tell them you have symptoms so they can prepare and wear a mask if possible).
  • Wear a surgical mask over your nose and mouth when traveling to a testing site. If you do not have a surgical mask, wear a scarf over your nose and mouth.

City-supported diagnostic testing sites

  • City Health Center 9 
    • 131 E. Chelten Ave. 19144 
    • (215) 685-2933

Hospital system diagnostic testing sites

Privately run diagnostic testing sites

  • Family Practice and Counseling Network ‐ Abbottsford Falls
    • 4700 Wissahickon Avenue, Suite 119, Philadelphia, PA 19144
    • If experiencing COVID‐19 symptoms. Call 215‐843‐9720 to speak to a nurse for scheduling. 

Other diagnostic testing options (general, not site-specific )

  • If you’re a patient at Temple University Hospital, call 215-707-6999
  • If you’re a patient at Einstein Medical Center, call 1-800-346-7834
  • If you’re a patient at a City Health Center, call 215-685-2933
  • If you’re a patient at Jefferson Health, they ask patients to contact them via the JeffConnect portal
  • If you’re a patient at Mercy Hospital, call 215-748-9000
  • If you’re a patient Penn Medicine, call 267-785-8585
  • If you’re a patient at Main Line Health, call 1-866-225-5654

Antibody testing

Important information about antibody tests

  • According to the CDC, antibodies are proteins found in blood that develop in response to foreign substances, like viruses and bacteria, and fight off diseases. 
  • It can take about 1-3 weeks for antibodies to develop after symptoms begin, so antibody tests can confirm if a patient has had prior exposure to the coronavirus. However, they might not find antibodies in someone with a newer or active infection as it can take up to three weeks for antibodies to be fully detectable.
  • The CDC doesn’t know if COVID-19 antibodies can prevent someone from getting the virus again or how long that protection might last. 

For more information, click here

Where to get an antibody test

Vybe Urgent Care

  • All COVID-19 visits at Vybe begin with a virtual telemedicine visit where a clinician will determine whether you need a diagnostic test or antibody test. 
  • Antibody tests involve drawing a blood sample, which takes place inside of Vybe’s facility. 
  • Vybe’s antibody test can cost up to $100 for people who don’t have medical coverage, whereas a nasal swab test is free.
  • To set up an appointment, visit the Vybe website.
  • Roxborough vybe urgent care
    • 6060 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128
    • (215) 999-6060

Oak Street Health Germantown

  • 220 W Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
  • (215) 392-9706
  • Oak Street Health has a 24/7 chatbot on our website and a 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. phone hotline for patients and community members on COVID
  • The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • They are seeing patients in person if they need to be seen, otherwise actively serving with telemedicine on phone and video.
  • They can connect patients to food pantries and meal deliveries if their neighbors and family cannot support them.
Pop-up diagnostic testing sites
  • Philadelphia FIGHT has COVID-19 Community Testing Sites throughout the city. You don’t need an appointment, insurance, ID, or COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. Questions? Call 267-436-3126. You can check out their schedule online, here. They have a site in Northwest Philadelphia at Face to Face Germantown (123 E. Price Street).
  • The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium offers free COVID-19 testing and free flu shots. This is a walk-up, pop-up site. You don’t need an appointment. You can find their schedule online, here
  • Through a partnership with the city, Vybe Urgent Care is running a mobile COVID-19 pop-up clinic throughout Philadelphia. You can schedule an appointment online, here

Back to the top.

Face Masks

  • On July 1, Governor Tom Wolf announced that it is now mandatory to wear a facial mask whenever someone leaves their house.
  • As of June 26, the City of Philadelphia has mandated that everyone wear a mask in indoor public places and outdoor areas where people are less than six feet apart from others outside of their household. Businesses are being asked to enforce this policy.
  • The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in public, especially where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 
  • As of April 15, Pennsylvania health officials have mandated that all businesses must require both employees and customers to wear masks. 
  • Medical-grade face coverings like surgical and N95 masks are in limited supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, according to the CDC
  • Instead, the CDC advises people to make their own masks, which can be made with household supplies using bandannas, t-shirts, and scarves, at little to no cost. 
  • The CDC published this guide, which includes information on how to make masks at home with or without sewing materials. It also offers tips on how to wear, remove, and clean masks. 
  • In addition to wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19; the CDC advises civilians to keep practicing social distancing of six feet when outside, frequently washing hands, and avoiding touching your face.
  • To learn more, visit the City of Philadelphia web page on wearing a mask.

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Food

City of Philadelphia

  • The city has consolidated all of its information on meal sites and food assistance resources on a single web page here. You can check locations, hours of operation, and pick-up details through their interactive map by using filters.
    • Food pantries/sites
    • Student meal sites
    • Senior meal sites
    • Outdoor meal sites

Free, nutritious food from the city

  • Sites are open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Residents can pick up one box per household. Supplies will last up to five days.
  • Residents do not need to present an ID or proof of income for eligibility.
  • For site locations, click here.
  • The city is working to expand the list of sites. Check back often.

School meal sites for children

  • 49 Philadelphia School District schools are open from 9 a.m – noon on Thursdays.
  • Each child will be able to pick up a box of five breakfast meals, five lunch meals and a ½ gallon of milk for each student in your family. 
  • Each box weighs six pounds so the district encourages participants to bring a wheeled cart or way to carry the boxes if they are picking up meals for multiple students in the household. 
  • Social distancing, the use of masks and gloves, and other safety precautions will continue to be practiced.
  • Six Philadelphia Housing Authority community centers are open from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. every weekday. Each child will receive breakfast and lunch.
  • Several charter schools are also distributing meals. Times and days vary.
  • Any child is eligible at any site. No ID is required.
  • Click here for a list of sites.

Face to Face Germantown

  • 123 Price street parking lot
  • Monday, Thursday and Fridays, noon to 2 p.m

Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry

  • 35 West Chelten Avenue
  • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Friday Food Cupboard

  • 5421 Germantown Avenue
  • Fridays, 9 to 9:45 a.m.

Germantown grocery pickup

  • Volunteers in Germantown available to pick up and drop off online grocery orders for neighbors, especially anyone who lost access to their usual spots because of protests or curfews. 
  • All dropoffs are contactless, and they can sometimes help with online ordering fees
  • Request form and available dates here: gtownpickup.com
  • They are currently able to pick up online grocery orders on these dates, at any grocery store within a 15-minute drive of Germantown 
  • Reach out to lou@louishochman.com or 973-937-8392 before ordering if you'd need another day 
  • Please give 24 hours notice if you can

Germantown Neighbor Food Pantries

  • Samantha Siegel
    • 200 Block of Rittenhouse Street, everyday as supplies last
    • Siegel began a GoFundMe to support her mini food pantry. Her pantry consists of non-perishable food items, toiletries and baby supplies like diapers and wipes.
  • Dana Rummery
    • 600 Block of Rittenhouse Street, everyday as supplies last
    • Rummery’s food pantry encourages the community to take what they need and leave what they can. Items include canned goods, rice, dressings and other non-perishable items.

Faith Community Development Corporation

  • Faith Chapel Church 108 East Price Street, 
  • Grocery Giveaway Wednesday and Thursday
  • 215-848-5658

MANNA

  • Provides meals for individuals with a serious illness and nutritional risk.
  • The referral form can be found here or by calling (215) 496-2662, ext. 5.

Northwest CommUnity Coalition for Youth

  • Food distribution on Monday, Wednesday, Friday starting @ 10:30 on the corner of Wister St. and Spencer St.


Philabundance

  • Provides a map of Emergency Kitchens, which serve hot meals, and Food Cupboards, which are pantries, across the city.
  • Find food near you by visiting the Philabundance website.

Share Food Program

  • Food Distribution Sites on Mondays and Thursdays
    • The Share Food Program is partnering with Philabundance and the City of Philadelphia to provide free boxes of food to families across the City every Monday and Thursday. On Mondays, boxes will contain dried and canned goods, and on Thursdays, locations will feature produce.
    • Dare to Imagine Church (food site)
      • 6610 Anderson St
    • General Louis Wagner Middle School (student meal site)
      • 1701 Chelten Ave
    • Happy Hollow Recreation Center (food site)
      • 4800 Wayne Ave
    • Men Who Care of Germantown (food site)
      • 180 East Tulpehocken Street
    • Martin Luther King High School (student meal site)
      • 6100 Stenton Ave
    • John B Kelly School (student meal site)
      • 5116 Pulaski Ave
    • Mastery Charter Pastorius-Richardson Elementary (student meal site)
      • 5650 Sprague St
    • Mastery Charter John Wister Elementary (student meal site)
      • 67 E Bringhurst St
    • Mastery Charter Pickett Campus (student meal site)
      • 5700 Wayne Ave
    • Roosevelt Elementary School (student meal site)
      • 430 E Washington Ln
    • Upper Room Baptist Church (food site)
      • 7236 Ogontz Ave
  • Senior Food Delivery Program
    • During COVID-19, Share Food Program is offering contact-free food delivery to qualifying seniors. For information on qualifications, where to register, and what’s included in the boxes, and senior sign-up sites, please go here
    • Please note that at this time, Share Food is unable to deliver to new sign ups, but qualifying seniors may sign up to be placed on the waitlist.
  • Knock Drop and Roll 
    • In order to support our more vulnerable neighbors, Share Food Program is now offering contact-free food delivery directly to homes.
    • These deliveries are meant for seniors, people with disabilities, and anyone in a higher risk category for COVID-19, though no one will be turned away from requesting a box

Queenie’s Kibble Kitchen

  • bi-weekly distribution of free dog food, cat food and cat litter
  • Distribution will take place every other Thursday, from 4-6 p.m. while supplies last, and will be provided on a first-come, first serve basis.
  • Drive thru pickup at Queenie’s Pets storefront at 7174 Germantown Avenue,
  • Philadelphia PA, 19119.

SNAP

  • Residents who need help buying food can get SNAP with no work requirement.  
  • Call the Coalition Against Hunger SNAP hotline at 215-430-0556.

Step Up to the Plate

  • Step Up to the Plate is a collaboration between Broad Street Ministry, Project HOME, and Prevention Point Philadelphia to ensure access to food and medical care for Philadelphians experiencing homelessness during COVID-19.
  • Grab-and-go meals will be distributed Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at the north side of City Hall.
  • COVID-19-related health care services and resources will be available for those experiencing homelessness. In Center City, Project HOME’s Hub of Hope staff will provide services. 

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA)

  • Works with senior centers throughout the city to provide Grab and Go lunch options. 
  • Call 215-765-9040 or visit their website for more information. 

WhyHunger

  • This organization refers people in need across the U.S. to food pantries, soup kitchens, government progra.m.s and grassroots organizations.
  • Call or text 1-800-548-6479 for more information.

WIC

  • All WIC offices will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • You will be able to load your eWIC card with 3 months of benefits while keeping a safe distance from others.
  • You may also apply over the phone or send someone else to the office for you, but you need to call the WIC office ahead of time to notify them. This person should bring an ID with them. 1-800-942-9467.

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Housing

Homeowners

Pennsylvania cannot extend eviction ban

  • Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order that protected Pennsylvanians from foreclosures or evictions through Aug. 31 expired and said he cannot extend the moratorium, citing the State’s Emergency Services Management Code.
  • On Sept. 1, the CDC said it will halt evictions until the end of the year for renters who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and make under $99,000 a year. 

Federal Housing Administration has suspended foreclosures and evictions

  • As of right now, there will be no foreclosures of evictions with FHA-insured single family mortgages until at least Dec. 31.
  • Call your mortgage company and ask if your home is “FHA insured.”
  • This information can also be found in your closing papers, which you got when you settled, but if you refinanced the original loan then you should look at the closing documents from when you refinanced and not the original loan closing.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least December 31, 2020. Find out if you live in a property that has a mortgage loan purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae by clicking here or Freddie Mac by clicking here.
  • Call the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at 215-334-4463 if you have questions.

Free Housing Counseling

  • If you need information about foreclosure prevention during COVID-19, housing counselors will be able to share accurate information on what you can do. Call or email:
    • Germantown United
      • 5320 Germantown Ave
      • 215-856-4303
      • info@germantownunitedcdc.org
    • Mt. Airy USA
    • Northwest Counseling Service
  • Center in the Park
    • Center in the Park’s HUD-approved Housing Counseling Program provides quality counseling through information, referrals and advocacy for those with a variety of housing concerns.
    • 5818 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144  
    • (215) 848-7722 

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Renters

Philadelphia courts stops most evictions for the rest of 2020

Philadelphia’s Emergency Housing Protection Act

  • On Thursday, June 18, Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted on 5 bills to help renters who are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • One bill extended the moratorium on evictions to August 31, which has now expired. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered a nationwide eviction moratorium for renters at-risk of eviction for nonpayment of rent. You can read more about that moratorium and the Emergency Housing Protection Act here.
  • City Council also passed these bills under the act:
    • Required participation in landlord-tenant mediation before a landlord tries to evict a tenant who has submitted the Tenant COVID-19 Certification of Financial Hardship form to their landlord. The city’s Eviction Diversion Program runs through Dec. 31, 2020. Landlords can apply to the program here.
    • Hardship repayment agreement for rent owed through Aug. 31, 2021. To enter the agreement, a tenant must give the Tenant COVID-19 Certification of Financial Hardship form and any proof to their landlord. This allows tenants to pay their rent, which was owed from March 1, 2020 to Aug. 21, 2020, by May 31, 2021. 
    • Late fee waiver through May 31, 2021 for tenants who present the Tenant COVID-19 Certification of Financial Hardship form to their landlord. This prevents landlords from collecting fees on late rent payments from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021. 
    • Tenant’s right to sue or file a complaint to the Fair Housing Commission if a landlord tries to illegally lock them out.

PHA Suspending Evictions, Offering Waivers

  • The CARES Act includes a temporary moratorium (120 days) on evictions for nonpayment of rent, as well as fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent, according to HUD.
  • The agency is postponing all court appointments for residents who are facing charges of failure to pay rent.
  • PHA will also offer hardship waivers to residents who lost a job or suffered a pay cut because of the pandemic.

Eviction Courts Resume in September

  • Eviction hearings resumed on Sept. 3, 2020 and lockouts resumed on Sept. 8, 2020. New eviction filings will have a court date on or after Nov. 16, 2020.
  • To read updates on rentals, tenants, and evictions, visit PhillyTenant.org.

Rental Assistance

  • For more information, click here or call 215-433-0938
COVID-19 rental assistance for people living with HIV
  • The Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) is providing one-time grants of at least $2,500 for people living with HIV. The grant program, which is administered by the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), is intended to cover up to six months of rent.
  • Eligibility includes:
    • A person living with HIV.
    • Be actively enrolled in HIV medical case management; if you do not have a case manager, call 215-985-2437.
    • Loss of income.
    • Have a gross household income no more than 500% of the federal poverty level; for one person, this is $63,800 in income per year and increases by $22,400 for every household member included in the application.
    • Rents a property in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania or Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, or Salem counties in New Jersey.
    • Has a valid and current written lease signed by the property’s landlord.
    • Have a current copy of a Ryan White certification card. You can get this through your case manager.
    • Not live in public housing or receive any other public rental assistance, like Section 8 or HOPWA.
  • To apply to the program, contact your HIV case manager and ask them to submit an application for you. If you do not have a case manager, call 215-985-2437.

Tenant Union Representative Network 

  • TURN provides free workshops and classes that educate tenants about their legal rights and responsibilities. Workshops are weekdays Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6p.m. at The Land Title Building, 100 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA and on every Saturday at 11 a.m. at 1701 West Lehigh Avenue, Room 1102, Philadelphia, PA
  • TURN offers Tenant Rights Workshops, Individual Counseling, Hotline Assistance, and Tenant Union Organizing Assistance.

The Philadelphia Tenants Union 

COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program
  • Through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program is providing renters with $750 per month, per household for up to six months of payments. The payments will be made directly to landlords on behalf of the renters.
  • To be eligible, you must meet all of the following:
    • Be a Philadelphia resident
    • Have lost more than 30% of your income because of COVID-19 or have become unemployed after March 1 because of COVID-19.
    • Have applied for Pa. unemployment assistance after March 1
    • When applying, your income can’t be more than 100% of the area’s median income
    • Landlords and renters must each provide information, and landlords must agree to the terms of the program, which includes not displacing the household or starting eviction proceedings for at least 60 days from the final month of the rental assistance program.
  • To apply online or request application assistance, go here.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Philadelphia County Assistance Office
    • 301 East Chelten Ave., Phila., PA, 19144
    • 215-560-5200
  • Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry
    • 35 W Chelten Ave, Phila., PA 19144
    • 215-843-2340
  • Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
    • Germantown Office
    • 301 E Chelten Ave, Phila., PA 19144
    • 215-560-5200

Good Shepherd Mediation Program

  • The City of Philadelphia and Good Shepherd Mediation Program have partnered up to help Philadelphia renters and landlords experiencing conflicts during COVID-19. The program is offering free, virtual mediation sessions. Translation services for the sessions are available.
    • To schedule a session, email intake@phillymediators.org
    • For more information, click here.
Urban League of Philadelphia
  • The Urban League of Philadelphia is giving families, who are at risk of foreclosure or eviction, financial assistance. The nonprofit received $50,000 from the PHL COVID-19 Fund. Email housing@urbanleaguephila.org to apply for funds.

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Utilities

Utility bill payments, service disconnections, and late payment relief

  • Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) resumed shut offs for nonpayment as of Nov. 9, 2020. However, there are shut off protections in place for PGW customers at or below 300% of the federal poverty level ($3,190 monthly income for single-person households and $6,550 monthly income for four-person households). Customers should call to notify PGW if they’re at or below 300% Federal Poverty Level, apply to financial assistance programs, and lastly, call PGW again to confirm their shut off protection.
  • PECO resumed shut offs for nonpayment as of Nov. 9, 2020. However, there are shut off protections in place for PECO customers at or below 300% of the federal poverty level ($3,190 monthly income for single-person households and $6,550 monthly income for four-person households). Customers should call PECO to notify them they’re at or below 300% Federal Poverty Level, apply to financial assistance programs, and then call PECO again to confirm their shut off protection. They have also expanded their financial assistance programs and payment options to help customers pay down account balances that increased during the pandemic. For more information, go here or call 1-888-480-1533.
  • The Philadelphia Water Department will not resume shut offs for nonpayment or charge late fees until at least April 1, 2021. The Philadelphia Water Department will also restore water service to all customers whose water service has previously been terminated. The restoration fee will be waived. Customers who have been shut off for not repairing defects in their private plumbing will still need to make the necessary repairs to have their water restored.

The utility companies have programs for low-income households that need a reduced bill.

  • To apply for PGW’s Customer Responsibility Program, call 215-684-6100 or apply online at www2.pgworks.com/crp. Income requirements are the same as LIHEAP.
  • To apply for PECO’s Customer Assistance Program, call 1-800-774-7040 or apply online at tinyurl.com/Apply-CAP-PECO. Income requirements are the same as LIHEAP.
  • To apply for the Water Department’s Tiered Assistance Program, call 215-685-6300 or apply online at cap.phila.gov. You can view income requirements at tinyurl.com/PWD-TAP

LIHEAP cash grants

  • The state’s LIHEAP application period is from Nov. 2, 2020 to April 9, 2021. Eligible applicants are given cash grants to help with their heating bills. The monthly income requirement for a single-person household is $1,595. For every additional person in the household, the income limit increases by $560. For more information, go here
    • To apply, go to www.compass.state.pa.us or mail a paper application, available in English and Spanish, to your local county assistance office. The Philadelphia office is at 801 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Additional resources

  • Call Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) at 215-972-5170. UESF helps families in Philadelphia with their utilities, housing, and more.
  • The Community Legal Services’ Energy Unit is helping clients who have questions about utility affordability or have had difficulty applying to assistance programs. Call 215-981-3700.   
  • Call the Public Utility Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380 if you notified your utility company about your situation, applied for assistance programs, and are still not being protected from shutoffs.

Neighborhood Energy Centers (NEC) 

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Internet

Free internet for  60 days

  • If you apply for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program by the end of 2020, you will receive two free months of internet. After the promotion, regular rates apply ($9.95/mo).
  • Households can apply here or call 855-846-8376 (English) or 855-765-6995 (Spanish).
  • Comcast will send all new customers a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem with a Wi-Fi router. There will be no term contracts, credit checks, or shipping fees.

Access Centers

  • The city is providing free digital learning centers throughout the city for students to be supervised while caregivers are working outside of the home with no childcare support.
  • Students will be provided meals and activities.
  • The centers are open to students entering kindergarten through sixth grade and registration is required. 
  • If eligible, you must fill out an Access Center registration interest form online here or call 215-709-5366 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 PHLConnectED

  • PHLConnectED will connect up to 35,000 K-12 student households with internet service. The program will offer eligible student households up to two years of high-speed internet. Participants will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses or installation fees.
  • Eligible K-12 households will be provided with wired, high-speed, reliable internet from Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, or a high-speed mobile hotspot for families who are housing-insecure and devices they need such as a laptop or tablet.
  • Eligible households will be identified through data gathered by the School District of Philadelphia, the Charter Schools Office, and internet service providers.
  • If you don’t have internet at home and need it for your K-12 student, get in touch with your school to tell them and be sure that your contact information on file is accurate.

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Schools

Reopening plan for 2020-2021 school year

  • The School District of Philadelphia started the school year with all students remotely learning from home. Remote, digital learning will continue until further notice
  • The following, which was supposed to happen in late November, has been delayed: “After the first marking period, students will transition to a mix of in-person and digital learning as long as guidance from the city’s public health officials state that it is safe to do so.”
  • To request a Chromebook from the school district click here.
  • To find out more details click here.

Access Centers

  • The City is operating 77 Access Centers throughout the city to provide students with a safe place for digital learning when caregivers work outside the home and have no childcare support. Available by registration only. Access centers are not drop-in sites. Access Centers are free of charge.
  • Who is eligible:
    • Students who are entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
    • Caregivers are working outside the home and cannot provide supervision, or are not able to afford childcare and need childcare for five days.
  • How to apply:
    • Read the “Who is eligible” section above to confirm your child qualifies.
    • Fill out the Access Center registration interest form online, or call (215) 709-5366 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Students are not registered until confirmed by an Access Center. If you are eligible, an Access Center team member will reach out to help you with the next step of registration. If you are not eligible, you will receive a response letting you know.
  • The city is responding to a high volume of registration requests. They process requests in the order they are received. Families only need to submit one request per child.

Chromebooks

  • To see the school district’s Chromebook news and updates, go here.
  • If a student still doesn’t have a Chromebook, go here
  • The district is offering a variety of technical support for its Chromebooks:
    • Call the telephone support line at 215-400-4444
    • Email FamilyTechSupport@philasd.org
    • Go to the Parent and Family Technology Support Centers
  • For more information, visit the Philadelphia School District’s Chromebook FAQspage

Internet access 

  • Here is a list of Internet access options, including low-cost Internet promotions from providers, such as Comcast and Verizon.

Questions and more information

  • Here’s the school district’s Coronavirus Information Hub
  • The district’s hotlines are available in 10 languages, from Monday through Thursday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
    • Tip: Change the page to your preferred language for the correct hotline number.  
  • Email covid19info@philasd.org.

Visit the district’s Coronavirus FAQs page.

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Family Support

Free baby food, formula, and diapers

  • Visit the city’s website to view a list of free pregnancy, baby, and toddler resources and support for families
  • Residents can visit the site below to pick up free food and baby supplies. 
  • Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network
    • Tuesday and Thursday 1-4, Saturday 12-2
    • 7047 Germantown Ave
    • 215-247-4663 x8

Virtual pregnancy & family support programs

WIC

  • Some WIC clinics are closed or have limited hours, but they are still available to help. Call 1-800-WIC-WINS or your local clinic for more information.
  • You will be able to load your eWIC card with three months of benefits while keeping a safe distance from others. 
  • You may also apply over the phone or send someone else to the office for you, but you need to call the WIC office ahead of time to notify them. This person should bring an ID with them. 1-800-942-9467. 
  • To enroll in Philadelphia WIC, fill out an online form, email phillywic@northwic.org, or call 215-978-6100.
  • Germantown WIC Office
    • 301 E Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19144
    • 215-284-1500

Northwest Victim Services

  • 6023 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144
  • NVS provides free crisis support to crime victims, their families, and significant others.
  • (215) 438-4410
  • After Hours Assistance 267-808-0350

Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR)

  • 24/7 Hotline: 215-985-3333
  • Crisis Intervention hotline; Trauma-Informed Counseling; Court Accompaniment for people with a recent or past experience of sexual violence. 

All Options pregnancy support

  • Talkline: 1 (888) 493-0092
  • Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Exhale

  • 1 (866) 439-4253
  • Emotional support, resources, and information for people who have had abortions, as well as to their partners, family, friends and allies. The service is available in multiple languages, currently including: English and Spanish.

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Unemployment

Filing for unemployment

  • If you lost your job, you can apply for unemployment online at www.uc.pa.gov or call the statewide number at 1-888-313-7284.
  • After you apply for unemployment, every two weeks you must file a claim at www.uc.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-255-4728 and report any hours you worked, paid time off you received, and pay you received. 

If you need additional help or are denied benefits

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Paid Sick Leave

Most Philadelphia Workers Are Entitled To Sick Leave

  • If you are covered by the Philly sick leave law, you can now use your sick leave for these reasons, too:
    • If your workplace closes because of coronavirus
    • If you are quarantined
    • If you are staying home with your children when their school is closed.
    • If you are ill or helping treat a family member for illness
    • If you or family members need diagnosis, care, or treatment of a health condition—including behavioral health
    • If you or family members need preventative care
    • If you experience domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Employers with 10 or more employees must provide paid sick leave. Employers with nine or fewer employees must provide unpaid sick leave.
  • To learn more, click here.
  • Call 215-686-0802 to ask questions with the city.

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Small Businesses

Operating guidelines for essential businesses and organizations

  • The City of Philadelphia published some COVID-19 guidance for essential businesses and organizations. That document covers what to do if an employee is diagnosed with coronavirus, social distancing strategies, cleaning protocols, and more.
  • On April 15, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order with more protocols aiming to protect critical workers in life-sustaining businesses. The order requires employers to provide employees with masks, install shields or barriers at check-out areas, limit the maximum occupancy to 50% of the usual maximum, deny entry to any customers not wearing masks, and much more. You can read all the new protocols here.

Resources and relief funds

  • The City of Philadelphia has created a webpage for businesses seeking relief funds and resources due to the impact of coronavirus closures. To see this page, click here.
  • The City of Philadelphia has an information and resources page for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The page has a list of federal relief programs, financial assistance, utility information, business resources, and additional guidance.
  • Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) has a regularly updated list of COVID-19 funding and financial assistance programs, which clearly shows what is still available.
  • Small business owners can fill out this survey letting the city know how coronavirus is impacting their business.
  • Germantown United CDC is connecting businesses with aid. For more information, contact Emaleigh Doley at edoley@germantownunitedcdc.org or 215-856-4303 ext. 101.

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IRS Stimulus Check

Who’s eligible for a stimulus check

  • Individuals who earn under $75,000 can get $1,200, plus $500 for every qualified child.
  • Married couples who earn $150,000 or less can get $2,400, plus $500 for every qualified child.
  • For filers with income above those thresholds, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above $75,000/$150,000.
  • Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and joint filers exceeding $198,000 with no children are not eligible.

Getting your $1,200 stimulus check 

  • For people who filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and included bank account information, you don’t have to do anything.
  • For people who filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 but did not include bank account information, click here. You may have to wait for a paper check, which will delay your relief payments. 
  • For people who didn’t file a tax return for either of the past two years, click here

Check your stimulus check status

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Financial Counseling

City of Philadelphia Financial Empowerment Centers/Clarifi

  • The City of Philadelphia’s network of Financial Empowerment Centers provide FREE high-quality, one-on-one financial counseling with professionally trained counselors to help clients transition from debt management to saving. The counselors are employees of Clarifi
  • Clarifi is still offering financial counseling during the coronavirus crisis. Financial counselors at Clarifi have begun tailoring their services to specifically assist with financial impacts resulting from this pandemic. 
  • Clarifi’s services include:
    • Developing a crisis spending plan to prioritize spending due to job loss or a loss of income
    • Applying for relief through lenders such as student loans, banks, credit card companies
    • Finding other resources
    • Creating a plan for recovery
  • Call 1-855-346-7445 or email clarifiteam@clarifi.org to speak with a counselor.
  • Careerlink
    • A Financial Empowerment Center is housed within Careerlink
    • 5847 Germantown Avenue 
    • 215-987-6503

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Free Legal Aid

Community Legal Services

  • Visit the Community Legal Services website for more information.
  • Call 215-981-3700 to get legal help for low-income residents. 

Immigration

Public Interest Law Center

  • The Public Interest Law Center uses high-impact legal strategies to advance the civil, social, and economic rights of communities in the Philadelphia region facing discrimination, inequality, and poverty. They use litigation, community education, advocacy, and organizing to secure their access to fundamental resources and services.
  • The Law Center’s programs rely on pro-bono legal support and are designed using a multi-disciplinary partnership model that brings together individuals, community groups, law firms, elected officials and key stakeholders to advance equality. 

Philadelphia VIP

  • Philly VIP provides pro bono legal services to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits with civil legal issues including housing, family stability, income, and community economic development.
  • VIP offers free one-hour virtual consultations to small businesses — typically family-owned businesses and other small enterprises, or new entrepreneurs with plans for businesses that could thrive in their communities 
  • Individuals: VIP only accepts individual clients through other legal services organizations, such as Community Legal Services or Philadelphia Legal Assistance.

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Immigration

Southeast Asian communities can call the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition (SEAMAAC) at 215-467-0690.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Limited visitation

  • Families and friends of loved ones who live in personal care homes, assisted living residences, continuing care communities, or nursing care facilities are not allowed to visit. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDOH), “contact with visitors is the primary way that residents could become exposed to and contract COVID-19.”
  • Non-essential personnel, like barbers and beauticians, are not allowed to enter these facilities.
  • The following essential personnel are allowed to enter these facilities and should be provided adequate personal protective equipment:
    • Health care workers providing hospice and home care services
    • Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistant and other clinicians
    • The Department of Aging and Department of Human Services, when there are reports of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse, or serious physical injury
  • Visitation is allowed for compassionate care situations like end of life care, clergy, and bereavement counselors. This will be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • For more information, follow this link to read PDOH’s FAQ regarding nursing care facilities.

COVID-19 cases

  • More than two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 deaths have been among people living in nursing homes and personal care homes, according to WHYY on May 20. 
  • Starting May 17, nursing homes in Pennsylvania were required to report their facilities’ number of coronavirus cases, deaths, and testing status.
  • Here’s a spreadsheet with the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities, including Department of Health and Department of Human Services regulated facilities. The spreadsheet is regularly updated and posted to the state’s website here (bottom of page). 
    • Disclaimer: There were errors in the state’s data when it was first published. Changes have been made to the data since then but there may still be some errors.

Statewide testing

  • In early May, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the start of their “universal testing strategy” for all of Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities’ residents and employees. View the announcement here. Disclaimer: The strategy received initial criticism from advocates claiming the plan is optional and insufficient, according to WHYY

Screening patients in Nursing and Long-term Care for COVID-19

  • Facilities should be screening patients every 12 hours for hallmark symptoms and signs of COVID-19.
  • If two of any of the signs/symptoms are detected, facilities should immediately:
    • Increase frequency of vital sign screening to every 8 hours (including checking heart rate and oxygen saturation)
    • Initatite precautions per CDC guidelines
    • Screen for influenza, and if negative screen for COVID-19
    • Check room oxygen levels
  • For more information, follow this link to read PDOH’s FAQ regarding nursing care facilities.

Screening staff in nursing and long-term care facilities for COVID-19

  • Staff must be screened upon entering the building using a checklist that has been developed by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
  • Facilities are recommended to take temperatures and document the following among staff: absence or shortness of breath, a new or change in cough, and a sore throat prior to starting each shift.
  • Sick employees should stay at home.
  • If an employee shows signs of sickness, they should leave the facility immediately wearing a facemask and self-isolate at home.
  • For more information, follow this link to read PDOH’s FAQ regarding nursing care facilities.

What can nursing care facilities offer to keep families involved?

  • Facilities should offer alternative means of communication in place of in-person visits.
    • Phone calls, video calls, SMS messaging, etc.
  • Creating or increasing listserv/newsletter communications to provide general updates to families.
  • Assigning staff members as primary contacts to designated families for inbound calls and regular outbound communication for updating families.
  • Offering a phone line with previously recorded updates about what’s happening at the facility 
  • For more information, follow this link to read PDOH’s FAQ regarding nursing care facilities.

What activities are permitted?

  • Residents are able to continue normal activities inside their room. When the state reopens businesses and allows for group activities and communal dining, regular activities can resume.

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Prisons

Philadelphia Department of Prisons

  • Visits from family and friends have been suspended. 
  • Weekend housing and work release have been suspended. 
  • Legal visits are still permitted, so long as the individual who is incarcerated is wearing a mask and the two parties maintain appropriate physical distance.
  • Individuals are given 15 minutes of phone calls each day as opposed to 10 minutes. 
  • Individuals are given two envelopes with postage each week and can still receive packages.
  • All court proceedings, except for emergency hearings, have been suspended.
  • People who are due for both early bail review and preliminary hearings for probation violations will continue to have virtual hearings. 
  • Both staff and incarcerated individuals are given masks, which they are required to wear. The PDP is currently soliciting mask donations here. 
  • Newly incarcerated individuals are quarantined for 14 days to keep them separate from the general population until they’re medically cleared. 
  • All incarcerated individuals are given regular temperature readings and those who have a fever of 100.4 or higher are quarantined. 
  • Individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms are quarantined and assessed further in a separate, 100-bed facility with potentially positive cases. 
  • Individuals who are currently incarcerated are housed “sheltered in place,” which means they are only allowed to leave for showers and phone calls. 
  • Individuals are receiving food and medication in their cells.  
  • All incarcerated individuals are provided with cleaning products with bleach to disinfect their cells.
  • For more information, visit the Philadelphia Department of Prisons website.

Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

  • For more information, visit BOP’s COVID-19 resource page
  • As of 05/03/2020:
    • There are 141,306 people in BOP-managed facilities and 10,823 people in community-based facilities. The BOP staff is made up of about 36,000 people.
    • 1,926 incarcerated people and 350 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus, and 515 incarcerated people and 148 staff have recovered from the disease.
    • 38 people in BOP facilities have died from coronavirus. No staff members have died from the disease.
  • COVID-19 Modified Operations Plan
    • Visits are suspended, including legal visits, until May 18. For legal visits, there is case-by-case approval at the local level and confidential calls are allowed. If an in-person legal visit is approved, attorneys need to pass a screening.
    • In order to follow social distancing guidelines, meal times and recreation times have been spaced out.
    • Telephone minutes are free and were increased from 300 to 500 minutes per month. Video visits are free as well.
    • Health screenings, quarantine, and isolation
      • Incarcerated individuals who have just arrived at a facility are screened for COVID-19 risk factors and symptoms.
      • Asymptomatic (a person who doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms) individuals with risk factors are quarantined.
      • Symptomatic (a person who has COVID-19 symptoms) individuals with risk factors are isolated and tested for COVID-19.
      • Staff in regions experiencing widespread community transmission of COVID-19 and medical referral centers are receiving health screenings, which includes temperature checks and self-reporting.
    • Movement:
      • Moving an incarcerated person to another location is suspended with some exceptions: medical or mental health reasons, residential reentry center (RRC) placements, and to better manage a facility’s bedspace.
      • The BOP hasn’t stopped facilities from admitting new incarcerated individuals.
    • Home Confinement:
      • In response to the spread of COVID-19 in certain facilities and the United States Attorney General’s directives, the BOP has been reviewing the files of all incarcerated people, who have COVID-19 risk factors, to determine who is eligible for home confinement, also known as house arrest.
      • As of late March, the BOP has put 1,972 incarcerated people on house arrest.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

  • Everyone is being screened when they arrive and leave a facility.
  • The department’s COVID-19 page is tracking the number of incarcerated people and employees who have tested positive or negative for coronavirus, and the number of deaths for each location.
  • People are quarantined in their cells except for predetermined video visits, phone calls, access to the law library, and select in-person visits.
  • The department suggests scheduling a video visit one month in advance. You can read more about the video visitation program, including how to schedule a call, on the department’s COVID-19 page under mitigation measures.
  • Meals are being provided in cells. 
  • Incarcerated people are provided with disposable masks and daily cleaning materials for their cells. 
  • Staff have been provided with and are required to wear cloth masks. 
  • In-person visitations have been suspended since March 13. However, attorneys and some members of the PA Prison Society are allowed to visit in-person if they pass a screening.
  • People who are incarcerated will receive five free 15-minute phone calls per week, five free emails per week, and 12 free letters per month. Commissary maximums are now $100 per week. 
  • As of April 1, everyone who is incarcerated is receiving free cable TV in their cells, and TVs are available for purchase from the commissary. 
  • For more information, go to the department’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Independent COVID-19 case trackers

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Mutual Aid

Germantown Mutual Aid Fund

  • Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT) opened applications for a “community generated gifting fund” to help people pay for essential needs. 
  • Money can be used to pay for housing costs, utility bills, emergency home repairs, transportation, phone bills, emergency medical bills, and medicine
  • Must live in Germantown to be eligible
  • The minimum amount of financial assistance is $50. 
  • The fund will prioritize the most vulnerable applicants based on an assessment of needs, including income, disability status and urgency.
  • Information to apply, or to donate to the fund: https://www.greatgtown.org/mutual-aid 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

What they do

  • They offer support getting folks groceries, medicine, and supplies.  
  • They are run by volunteers, they don’t have any funding, and their aid comes directly from the community. 

Their priorities

  • The sick, elderly, disabled, undocumented, single parents, queer, Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, those quarantined without pay, and those limited in work. 

How it works

  • When a request for aid is made, they go into their network of community members who have volunteered to help and find a volunteer that meets the requester’s need.  
  • Once they match the person who made the request with the person/people who can provide support, they put them in touch and they figure out the details together from there. 

Limitations

  • They are neighbors helping neighbors.  
  • The aid provided comes from community support and solidarity.  
  • They cannot guarantee to meet each request but they will try their best to do so.  
  • They are not funded and they are not a government or medical agency.  
  • They are simply people connecting their neighbors who need help with their neighbors who can help. 

Contact

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Medical Advocacy

Project SAFE

  • Project SAFE is running a triage & wellness advocacy hotline. Their volunteers can:
    • Help direct people to medical or non-medical resources
    • Answer medical questions or concerns (staffed by nurses and experienced health professional students with appropriate higher-level trained support staff)
    • Provide support and advocacy for people who are in the hospital
    • Call 1-866-509-SAFE (7233) for Project SAFE’s 24/7 hotline
  • The main difference between the Project SAFE hotline and the hospital-based hotlines is that Project SAFE’s volunteers have training in and come from the perspective of harm-reduction. They usually serve street-based sex workers in Kensington, so they have experience handling more complex relationships with the medical system. They can also continue to follow up with people since they’re volume than most hotlines.

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Mental Health

Individuals, families, teenagers, and children

  • Akeas Heart Inc. is available for teens experiencing anxiety or depression about COVID-19. For more information, call or text their crisis hotline at 484-961-0260.
  • Department of Public Health District Health Center-#9
    • 131 E Chelten Ave Philadelphia, PA 19144. 
  • Drexel University Caring Together provides substance use support services.
  • Gaudenzia, Inc. provides support services for substance abuse. 
    • Gaudenzia, Inc.- New Image
      • 1300 E Tulpehocken St, Philadelphia, PA 19138. 
      • 610-033-8348
    • Gaudenzia Inc.- Outreach II
      • 39 E School House Ln. Philadelphia, PA 19144.
      • 215-584-7200, Ext. 2480
    • Gaudenzia, Inc.- Re-Entry
  • Healthy Minds Philly has a variety of resources. You can call a toll-free help line 24/7, 365 days a year regardless of insurance status at 1-888-545-2600.
  • Juvenile Justice Center of Philadelphia provides mental health services for children, youth, and families
    • 100 W Coulter St. Philadelphia, PA 19144 
    • (215) 849-2112.
  • Merakey Parkside Recovery
  • #mindPHLtogether
  • For Mental Health Awareness Month, the city and Independence Blue Cross launched a new public awareness campaign called #mindPHLTogether. You can find free mental health resources at mindPHLtogether.com. 
  • My Brother’s Keeper Cares hosts weekly virtual conversations on Facebook Live focused on mental health. 

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Community News and Information

Equally Informed Philly  

  • Equally Informed Philly supports access to information and opportunities for communities whose concerns have long been pushed to the margins, and are most impacted by COVID-19. 
  • The community info-line, an SMS/text-message based news and information service, is shaped by and for residents. 
  • Text EQUALINFO to the number 73224 to get started. 

Free Library

  • The Free Library has online resources like e-books, films, music, and virtual programs. 
  • Your library card can also link to digital educational programs like Learning Express Library (K–12 resources), tutoring, languages, computer literacy and continuing education. 
  • The Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library is located at 68 West Chelten Ave. 
  • Telephone: 215-685-2150.

Germantown Info Hub

  • The Germantown Info Hub is a community journalism project that seeks to share information and stories of and for residents of Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhoods.
  • You can stay up to date with the Info Hub by signing up for a weekly newsletter on our website.
  • The Info Hub also hosts a radio show on G-Town Radio on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m.

G-Town Radio

  • G-town Radio is an FM and community internet radio station that broadcasts from noon on Wednesday to midnight on Sunday and streams 24/7 online.
  • Listen online at https://bit.ly/ListenGtown or on air at 92.9 FM

The Local Paper

  • News site providing local lore, characters, news, and events for Northwest Philadelphia, including East Falls, Germantown, Roxborough/Manayunk, Mt Airy, Chestnut Hill, and Allegheny.
  • Free monthly print publication that compiles stories and reader comments. 
  • Email editor@nwlocalpaper.com or call or text 215-498-8874.

Educational Resources

For children

For adults

  • Duolingo is a free language-learning app available as a mobile app or on the computer.
  • USA Learns offers free English video lessons.
  • Janis’s ESOL offers worksheets and quizzes organized by topic.

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Outdoor Activities

Out-of-State Travel

Awbry Arboretum

  • The meadows, gardens, and grounds of Awbury  will remain open daily from sunrise to sunset, and, as always, free.  
  • The Cope House and the Arboretum offices are closed until further notice, as well as the Education Center, except by special appointment. 

Golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, and privately owned campgrounds

Playgrounds

  • Playgrounds are open for children and their caregivers under the City’s Safer-at-Home Order
  • No group sports or group-recreation visits are allowed. 
  • Playground equipment may be reserved for campers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, starting July 6. 
  • Residents can click here to learn playground hours.

Public pools and spaces

  • In a proposed budget briefing for the coming year, administration officials for Mayor Kenney announced that Philadelphia public pools will be closed this summer, primarily due to budget cuts.
  • The possibility of less residents being able to visit public spaces due to social distancing measures and the possible lack of staffers to hire for public pools, also aided in their decision for closing public pools.
  • Officials also suggested that public spaces may see reduced operating hours and budgets for usual programming.

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Volunteer Opportunities

City of Philadelphia

  • The city of Philadelphia has compiled information on volunteer opportunities on their website here.

Easter Outreach

  • This organization helps deliver thousands of meals to households in need of food assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • If you’d like to volunteer your help, apply at their website here.

Senior Citizens United Community Services

  • Volunteer opportunities include:
    • Preparing and/or delivering food bags
    • Shopping for shut-ins
    • Clerical assistance with day-to-day business activities
  • If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Volunteer Coordinator at (856) 456-1121 at Extension 160.
  • If you are interested in volunteering to deliver meals to homebound seniors, contact Mark Moffitt at (856) 456-1121 Extension 158.
  • You can also visit their website here.

Philabundance

  • If you are interested in volunteering with Philabundance, visit their website here.

United Way of Greater Philadelphia

Share Food Program

  • Help make calls (from your home) to local food cupboards and home-bound seniors to arrange for deliveries. Sign up
  • Deliver nutritious food packages to homebound seniors through our no-contact “Knock, Drop and Roll” program, To sign up to drive
  • Help pack “Share Care Packages’ of nutritious foods for families facing food shortages. Shifts available on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 am – 12 pm at Share Food Program’s Roxborough satellite site. Pre-registration required – visit here to sign up.

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Price Gouging

What is price gouging?

  • If you see a store charging up an item, that’s called price gouging.
  • For example, a 24-case of water bottles is normally $2-4 dollars, but you see a store try to charge $1 per water bottle, which means that 24 case of water bottles is now $24. That is price gouging and it’s illegal.

What can you do about price gouging?

  • If you see price gouging, contact the PA Attorney General’s Office
  • Fill out the price gouging complaint form
  • Send an email to the PA Attorney General Office at pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov with the name and location of the store, the product, and the price. You can also send pictures. 
  • If you don’t have access to email, call the office at 717-787-5211.

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Scams

 Medicare coronavirus scam

  • Scammers may use COVID-19 as an opportunity to steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud.
  • They might tell you they’ll send you a Coronavirus test, masks, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number or personal information. 
  • Be wary of unsolicited requests for your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Guard your Medicare card.
  • Check your Medicare claims summary forms for errors.
  • Medicare will never call you to ask for or check your Medicare number.
  • For more information on scams, click here.
  • Report senior scams with PCA at 215-765-9040.

Utilities scam

  • No utility company will come to your door unexpectedly to ask for your personal information.
  • Report senior scams with Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) at 215-765-9040.

COVID-19 vaccines, cures, air filters and testing scams

  • If you receive phone calls, emails, text messages or letters claiming to sell vaccines, test kits, cures, treatments, or air filter systems that remove COVID-19 from your home — it’s a scam. None of those items exist for coronavirus at this time.
  • To learn more about COVID-19 scams, click here.

“Person in need” scams

  • Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers may pose as a distant relative, grandchild, or known loved-one out of the country to persuade you in sending money for help. Oftentimes these scammers will tell you not to ask questions and urge you to act fast.
  • According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stay calm in these situations and contact immediate family members to verify the identity of this caller.
  • Don’t send money unless you’re sure it’s them and don’t be afraid to hang up to call the relative they may be impersonating.

Social Security scams

  • While the Social Security Administration (SSA) offices are closed due to COVID-19, there won’t be a change to SSA benefits payments or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. 
  • Scammers might try to make you believe that you need to provide personal information or make a payment to maintain your regular SSA or SSI benefits payments.
  • ANY communication that notifies you that SSA will suspend or decrease benefits payments is a scam.
  • To report Social Security scams to the SSA Inspector General, click the link here.

Amazon food box phishing scam

  • There is a scam going around on WhatsApp stating that due to COVID-19, Amazon is giving people food boxes. To receive the box, you have to fill out a survey and then send the offer to 10 of your WhatsApp contacts. The purpose of a phishing scam is to get your personal information.

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