North Philly’s guide to navigating the impact of coronavirus

How to get the resources you and your family need to stay healthy, safe, and occupied.

With information from Asociación Puertorriqueños en MarchaNKCDCThe Lighthouse 1893, and Kensington Voice

This guide was last updated on January 26, 2021.
We’ll be updating frequently as we get more information.
Email us with suggestions or corrections. 

CONTENTS

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 safeclick 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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, the city put in place new “Safer at Home restrictions” on Nov. 20, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021.

The following business and activities are not allowed:

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

Based on recent increases in COVID-19 cases, the following businesses and activities are still restricted under the City’s protocols:

  • Indoor gatherings, including in the home.
  • Indoor organized sports
  • Senior day services, such as senior centers and adult day cares. Indoor catered events.

The following businesses and activities, which weren’t allowed to operate under the Safer at Home restrictions, resumed operations on Jan. 16:

  • Indoor dining will be allowed at 25 percent of the seating capacity.
  • Theaters and performance spaces will be allowed with a cap of 10 percent maximum occupancy, including staff. If the maximum occupancy is unknown, allow 10 persons per 1,000 square feet. Masks are required and no food or drinks are allowed.
  • Colleges will be allowed to resume in-person classes.

The following 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:
    • Gathering limits determined using the maximum occupancy calculator
    • Face coverings are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from home 
    • Unnecessary travel should be limited 
    • Household gatherings are advised against when attendees include non-household members
    • 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

SYMPTOMS & 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 Prevention, wearing 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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 have had COVID-19 and are recovering don’t need a follow-up 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

  • The city has created a website for COVID-19 testing sites in Philadelphia, which allows people to find a nearby diagnostic testing site that doesn’t require money, insurance or proof of citizenship. The information is available in multiple languages.
  • 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.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health – Health Centers 

The following city-supported health centers have diagnostic testing sites. A few of them are located outside of North Philadelphia. Appointments are required for all of them. 

  • Health Center 2 (19145), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 3 (19104), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 4 (19104), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 5 (19121), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 6 (19123), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 9 (19144), 215-685-2933
  • Health Center 10 (19149), 215-685-2933
  • Strawberry Mansion Health Center (19132), 215-685-2933
Hospital system diagnostic testing sites

The following sites are located in North Philadelphia and near Center City. 

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (19146), 1-800-722-7112
  • Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Community Testing Site (19141), 1-800-346-7834
  • Jefferson Health – Center City (19107), 1-855-462-5333 
    • A patient must be in the provider’s network to receive a test at this site.
  • Jefferson Health – St. Raymond of Penafort Church (19150), 1-833-533-3463
  • Penn Hospital (19107), 267-414-2303
    • A patient must be in the provider’s network to receive a test at this site.
  • Temple University Hospital (19140), 215-707-6999
  • Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus (19111), 215-707-6999
Other diagnostic testing sites 

The following sites are in North Philadelphia and are facilitated by health organizations, private companies, and more.

  • CVS Pharmacy
    • Make an appointment online, here.
  • Delaware Valley Community Health, Maria de los Santos Health Center (19133)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call 215-291-2500. Expect to be on hold for longer than usual. 
  • Delaware Valley Community Health, Fairmount Primary Care Center at Girard Medical Center (19122)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call 215-827-8010.
  • Delaware Valley Community Health, Fairmount Primary Care Center (19130)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call 215-235-9600.
  • Esperanza Health Center at Hunting Park (19140)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call (215) 807-8620.
  • FPCN – Abbottsford Falls Family Practice & Counseling (19144)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call 267-629-4261 during business hours, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Expect to be on hold for longer than usual. 
  • FPCN – 11th Street Family Health Services (19123)
    • Appointment required for testing. Call 267-809-2511
  • Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Hunting Park Health Center (19140)
    • A telemedicine visit and appointment are required for testing. Call 215-271-4286.
  • Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Frankford Ave Health Center (19124)
    • A telemedicine visit and appointment are required for testing. Call 215-271-4286.
  • Project HOME – Hub of Hope (19102), 267-709-5590
    • Walk-up site for people experiencing homelessness on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 1401 JFK Blvd.
  • Public Health Management Corporation
    • Health Connection (19122) 
      • Walk-up site for low-income families and individuals. Appointments are required for testing. Call 1-855-887-9229.
    • PHMC Rising Sun Health Center (19120)
      • Walk-up site. Appointments are required for testing. Call 1-855-887-9229.
    • Congreso Health Center (19133)
      • Walk-up site. Appointments are required for testing. Call 1-855-887-9229.
  • Rock Ministries (19134), 215-739-3927
    • Walk-up site. No appointment required. Open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2755 Kensington Ave. 
  • Rite Aid
    • Complete a pre-screening and schedule an appointment online, here.
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.
  • Current sites in North Philadelphia include:
    • Dobbins Technical High School (2150 W. Lehigh Ave.), every Tuesday from 11AM-1PM.
    • Norris Square Community Alliance (174 Diamond St.), every Wednesday from 11AM-1PM.
    • The Simple Way (3234 Potter St.), on Monday from 1PM-3PM.
  • 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. The pop-up clinic will be at Kensington Community Food Co-op at 2670 Coral St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on various dates. You can schedule an appointment online, here

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

FACE MASKS

PA Governor: “Masks are mandatory whenever someone leaves the home.”

  • 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.

Additional Information & How-to’s

  • 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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 often open at varying days and times, check the city’s interactive map to find a location and time near you.
  • 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

  • Philadelphia School District schools will continue to give out Grab and Go Meals on Fridays from 9 a.m. – noon. Starting September 3, the number of meal sites have been expanded. Here is a list of the locations on the district’s Grab and Go Meals page.
  • All summer school meal locations will remain active except Lincoln & Furness, where the last day of service was August 27.
  • Starting September 3, students or parents/guardians can pick up one meal box per student ID.   
  • Each child will be able to pick up a box of five breakfast mealsfive 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.
  • 13 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 student meal sites.

FeedPhillyNow

  • FeedPhillyNow is an initiative started in partnership with the USDA and Kensington Capital Group to provide free lunches, snacks, and resources to households with children under the age of 18 in Philadelphia during COVID-19.
  • All children under the age of 18 are entitled to five lunches and snacks.
  • Visit the website www.feedphillynow.com to register your household.
  • Text or call (267) 973-5523 after registration to plan drop-offs.
  • Deliveries should start by the end of the week your household registered.

Step Up to the Plate

  • Step Up to the Plate is a collaboration between Broad Street MinistryProject HOMEPrevention Point Philadelphia, and SEAMAAC to provide free meals to Philadelphians experiencing homelessness and food insecurity 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, and Monday through Saturday from 1 PM to 3 PM in Kensington at E. Clearfield and Ruth Streets.
  • At both sites, COVID-19-related health care services and resources are available for those experiencing homelessness. In Center City, Project HOME’s Hub of Hope staff will provide services.
  • At Kensington’s location, also known as The Love Lot, Prevention Point Philadelphia provides health care services and resources, including stimulus check applications from Monday to Friday.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

WhyHunger

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

WIC

  • Most Philadelphia WIC offices are open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pennsylvania WIC recommends calling your local office for their hours  
  • 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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 Jan. 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

Renters

Philadelphia courts stops most evictions for the rest of 2020

  • On Nov. 6, 2020, Philadelphia courts issued an order to stop certain evictions until 2021. An amendment extended the suspension until after Jan. 31, 2021. You can’t be evicted for non-payment, late payment or non-payment of utilities. This order does not include breaches of lease, like damage to property or alleged criminal conduct.
    • Eviction courts are still open and holding hearings. You must go if you are assigned a court date. 
    • To read updates on rentals, tenants, and evictions, visit PhillyTenant.org. 

To protect renters from eviction, 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:
    • The city’s Eviction Diversion Program runs through March 31, 2021. Landlords can apply to the program here. In December, City Council passed an amendment to extend the program past its original end date of Dec. 31, 2020.
    • 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

  • PHA will not evict tenants for non-payment of rent until March 15, 2021. Evictions for breach of lease can still happen. Tenants should still pay their rent each month if possible.
  • 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. Report loss of income by emailing publichousing.answers@pha.phila.gov or completing this online form.

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.
The Philadelphia Tenants Union 
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.
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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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) 

Click here to go back to the menu.

INTERNET

Free internet for two months

  • If you apply for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program by June 30, 2021, 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.

English Language Learner Glossaries

  • Glossaries with terms for different subjects, such as Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math, are available for students who speak languages other than English.
  • To see the full list of glossaries, click here.

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:

Parent & Family Technology Support Centers are open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The centers are located at the following locations:

  • Fitzpatrick Annex Building (rear of Fitzpatrick Elementary School) at 4101 Chalfont Drive
  • Martin Luther King High School at 6100 Stenton Ave.
  • South Philadelphia High School at 2101 South Broad St.
  • For more information, visit the Philadelphia School District’s Chromebook FAQs page

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

Visit the district’s Coronavirus FAQs page.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.
  • Casa del Carmen is located at 4400 North Reese St., Phila., PA 19140.
  • The site is open Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Clients can only visit the pantry once a month.
  • Residents don’t need to make an appointment to visit. 
  • APM is offering a free weekly diaper delivery service to families in the following zip codes: 19122, 19123, 19124, 19125, 19133 and 19134. For more information, contact Lizaida at 267-476-2080
  • APM offers monthly parent cafes where parents, caregivers, and community members who interact with youth can talk about the challenges and victories of being a part of and raising a family. They also count as parenting classes, according to DHS, when attending two or more cafes. 

Free cribs

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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

Prevention Point Philadelphia’s Drop-in Center

  • If you need help contacting the Office of Unemployment Compensation or need help accessing any of your benefits payments, visit Prevention Point Philadelphia.
  • They offer free case management services for those who need it.
  • Prevention Point is open Monday through Friday, 12pm to 5pm. You can call them at (215) 634-5272.
  • Located at 2913 Kensington Ave (Kensington Avenue and Monmouth Street)

For more information

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

SMALL BUSINESSES

Operating guidelines for businesses and organizations

  • The City of Philadelphia’s Reopening with Care plan lists COVID-19 guidance for reopening businesses and organizations. The plan outlines strategies for handling co-workers or employees who become infected with coronavirus, social distancing, 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.
  • New Kensington CDC’s Economic Development team is connecting businesses with aid. For more information, email Jessi Koch at jkoch@nkcdc.org or Jake Norton at jnorton@nkcdc.org, or call 215-427-0350.

Click here to go back to the menu.

IRS STIMULUS CHECK

Who’s eligible for a stimulus check

  • Individuals who earn under $75,000 can get $600, plus $600 for every qualified child.
  • Married couples who earn $150,000 or less can get $1,200, plus $600 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 stimulus check

  • If you haven’t received your federal stimulus check, the deadline to file is November 21, 2020 at 3 p.m. You can use the IRS’ non-filers tool to submit your information.
  • For people who filed a tax return for 2019 and included bank account information, you don’t have to do anything.
  • For people who filed a tax return for 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

Stimulus check assistance

  • If you need help applying for or receiving your stimulus check, you can visit Step Up to the Plate’s walk-up food distribution site. There, they have stimulus check assistance, along with other resources that can help you get what you need.
  • The stimulus check assistance program is located in the parking lot of the food distribution site, you just need to walk up to it.
  • Located at the intersection of Ruth and E Clearfield Streets in Kensington.

Click here to go back to the menu.

FINANCIAL COUNSELING

APM Financial Opportunity Center

  • APM’s Financial Opportunity Center is still helping with financial counseling. They will be able to support residents with budgeting, predatory lending, credit coaching, and foreclosure counseling. 
  • Email diane.reyes@apmphila.org or melinda.martinez@apmphila.org for more information.

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

  • Visit the Community Legal Services website for more information.
  • Call 215-981-3700 to get legal help for low-income residents. 
  • PLS offers free legal aid to low-income residents, people with disabilities, and seniors who apply for assistance from PLS.
  • Due to COVID-19, walk-in intakes have been discontinued.
  • To apply:

Click here to go back to the menu.

NURSING HOMES AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

Information for visitors

The following information regarding visitation is from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. You can read the full document here

  • The facility must have a visitation plan posted on their website or available upon request.  
  • Each facility is in charge of making sure the resident is able to safely see visitors and will prioritize those with diseases causing progressive cognitive decline and residents experiencing feelings of loneliness.  
  • All visits will be pre-scheduled and may have specific time limits.
  • Children can visit as long as there’s an adult visitor with them. Children older than 2 years old must wear a facemask during the visit. 
During your visit
  • Participate in a health screening to check for fever, symptoms of COVID-19 and answer questions about possible exposure to the virus
  • Wear a mask or face covering 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after the visit
  • Stay in designated facility locations
  • Follow social distancing protocols (no hugging, handholding, etc.)
  • Sign in and provide your contact information
  • Sign out before leaving 
  • Note: Staff will monitor visits to make sure safety guidelines are followed
Visitation plan requirements 

The visitation plan must follow specific requirements and protocols, including:

  • Establish visitation hours
  • Designate a specific space for visits, like a hallway, dining room or outdoor space that is not typically occupied by residents with COVID-19 or exposed to COVID-19
    • For outdoor visitation areas, make sure there is proper coverage from inclement or excessive weather
  • Where possible, use a specified entrance and route for visitors
  • Make sure there are enough staff or volunteers to schedule and screen visitors, help with moving residents, monitor visitation and wipe down the visitation areas after each visit
  • Ensure the visitation areas can provide a six-foot distance between the resident and visitors
  • Establish a resident to visitor ratio that follows the facility’s capacity to maintain social distancing and infection control protocols
  • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant to wipe down visitation areas between visits
  • Determine residents who can safely accept visitors
  • Prioritize scheduled visitation for residents with diseases that cause progressive cognitive decline and residents expressing feelings of loneliness
  • Provide facemasks to residents to wear during the visit if they are able to
  • Ensure the requirements for visitors are met

COVID-19 cases

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.

Click here to go back to the menu.

PRISONS

Philadelphia Department of Prisons

General Information

  • The Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) is closely following COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
    • Due to a recent outbreak of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in PDP facilities, the people incarcerated in the PDP’s four facilities are being “sheltered in place,” which means they’re only allowed to leave their cells for showers, phone calls, and virtual visits with attorneys, family members, and friends. According to local news site Philly Voice, PDP facilities were previously under a shelter-in-place order from March to June. 
    • After a judge’s federal ruling in December, mandating universal testing in Philly prisons, the PDP announced their plan to complete and publish test results for all incarcerated individuals and employees by the end of January, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.  
      • PDP previously tested all incarcerated individuals on May 20, 2020; testing was completed May 29, 2020.
  • To see the current number of COVID-19 cases in PDP facilities, visit this link.
  • Visits from family and friends have been suspended due to the pandemic. On Dec. 15, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons started video visits with the GettingOut app. The platform can be accessed on all devices, including mobile phones. The weekly cost is $7.50 for 30 minutes once the two, free 15-minute video visits are used. Learn more here.  
  • The PDP has resumed in-person attorney visits. Video consultations are still an available option between lawyers and their clients. In-person personal visits are not available at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions.”
  • Employees, attorneys, and others receive temperature checks and screenings for COVID-19 symptoms every time they enter a PDP facility. 
    • Those who are symptomatic or have a fever of 100.4 or higher will be told to self-quarantine for 14 days at home and contact their primary care provider.
  • For more information, visit the Philadelphia Department of Prisons website.

Protective measures and services for incarcerated individuals

  • Newly incarcerated individuals are quarantined for 14 days to keep them separate from the general population until they’re medically cleared.
  • Individuals are being provided with masks and cleaning products to disinfect their cells. 
  • Individuals are given regular temperature checks and those who have a fever of 100.4 or higher are quarantined.
  • Individuals are given 15 minutes of free phone calls each day as opposed to 10 minutes. 
  • Individuals are receiving food and medication in their cells.  
  • Individuals are given two envelopes with postage each week and can still receive packages.
  • Weekend housing and work release have been suspended.
  • For more information, visit the Philadelphia Department of Prisons website.

Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

COVID-19 Modified Operations Plan

  • Incarcerated individuals in FOP facilities are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms and tested when necessary. 
  • Incarcerated individuals who have just arrived at a facility receive a screening for COVID-19 symptoms, temperature check, and COVID-19 test.
    • Individuals who have symptoms and/or test positive are put in medical isolation. 
    • Individuals who don’t have symptoms and test negative are put in quarantine. 
  • All employees and visitors receive a screening and temperature check when entering a facility. Those who are symptomatic or have a fever of 100.4 or higher will not be able to enter the building.
  • Social visits have been reinstated where possible. Facilities have made visiting plans based on their resources. Those plans are monitored and changed as necessary. Changes may include limiting or postponing visitation and providing visitation by appointment. 
  • Incarcerated individuals may leave their cells in small numbers for the commissary, laundry, showers, and phone calls. 
  • Legal access:
    • Phone calls and video calls with attorneys are being provided as much as possible. 
    • In-person legal visits with safety measures, like facial coverings, are allowed when requested based on the facility’s resources.
  • Movement:
    • Moving an incarcerated person to another location has been reinstated. Anyone with a known positive COVID-19 test, fever, or symptoms is not moved.
  • 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.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

  • The department’s COVID-19 Dashboard 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.
  • Everyone (staff, attorneys, newly incarcerated people, etc.) is being screened for COVID-19 symptoms or a fever over 100 degrees when they enter or leave a facility.
  • Individuals are quarantined in their cells except for controlled out of cell time, free video visitation, and free phone calls. Meals are being provided in cells. 
  • The department suggests scheduling a video visit one month in advance. The video calls are free. You can read more about the new Video Visitation Program, including how to schedule a call, on the department’s website.
  • 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 one free 15-minute phone call and 12 free letters per month. Commissary maximums are now $100 per week. 
  • 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.

Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center

  • The Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center, which is the city’s only juvenile detention center, started testing youth in their center on May 20. The center is run by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, and youth are held there while they wait for their cases to be heard.

Additional Resources

  • If an incarcerated loved one is not receiving the care they need, you can call PADOC Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel: (717) 728-4109
  • The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is raising money to free people who cannot afford bail. Donate here

Independent COVID-19 case trackers

Click here to go back to the menu.

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

Equity Project

  • This organization in Kensington helps residents access resources and is committed to advancing racial equity through radical access. Equity Project provides a variety of help, including helping people fill-out applications.
  • During COVID-19, the Equity Project team is continuing to help residents access resources, including those that have been moved online, through the following ways:

Poor People’s Army

Mama Tee Community Fridge

  • The yellow fridges are stocked and maintained by volunteers. Anyone passing by can take what they need or leave items for others to grab.
    • Kensington: Franny Lou’s Porch at 2400 Coral Street.
  • Interested in volunteering? Email mamateees@gmail.com
  • Donate here.  

The Papermill Food and Essentials Distribution Hub

  • The Hub provides boxes of food and hygiene items to families in need in Kensington
  • Email papermillfoodhub@gmail.com or call 215-380-5659.
  • Interested in donating? Donate here.

Unity & Survival Program

  • The Philadelphia Liberation Center and the Norris Square Community Action Network are delivering groceries to residents in Norris Square weekly, especially those who are elderly, with chronic illnesses, or at high-risk for COVID-19.
  • Send them an email: philly@pslweb.org or visit them on Facebook, here.
  • Interested in volunteering? Sign up here

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.

New Kensington Community Development Corporation

  • NKCDC’s Health Connectors are continuing to help residents access health resources:
    • A 10-question survey to help people find programs they might be eligible for. The survey can be completed online or with help from a Health Connector by calling Lizette Lewis at 215-427-0350 x103 or llewis@nkcdc.org
    • Virtual conversations with Health Connectors and featured guests about a variety of topics. The “Virtual Health Hour” is posted on NKCDC’s Youtube page.

Click here to go back to the menu.

MENTAL HEALTH

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • The CDC outlines possible feelings of anxiety and stress that people can experience during a pandemic.
  • To help manage stress and symptoms of anxiety, the CDC lists tips and resources for individuals, parents, and communities experiencing this burden.
  • To learn and understand more, visit this link.

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.
  • Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha offers phone therapy. Call 267-296-7223 for more information. 
  • 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.

#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.

MBK Cares

Click here to go back to the menu.

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.

Fab Youth Philly

  • Fab Youth Philly, a local organization that supports youth-serving organizations, put together a spreadsheet of virtual resources for teens. You can go through the list here and check out more resources on the group’s Instagram page at @fabyouthphilly.

Click here to go back to the menu.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Out-of-State Travel

Tacony, Fairmount, & Delaware nature trails 

  • For information on and directions to nature trails only 20-30 minutes away from North Philly, call 215-433-0938.
  • To find nearby trails online, click this link.

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

  • Starting May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, and privately owned campgrounds will be reopened statewide,according to Governor Tom Wolf’s office.
  • These recreational businesses will still be required to follow the guidelines put in place for life-sustaining businesses.
  • Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through at least May 14.

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. 
  • Residents can click here to learn playground hours.

Click here to go back to the menu.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

City of Philadelphia

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

Share Food Program

  • A Philadelphia nonprofit that supplies local food distribution sites with meals, produce, and help with delivering food to neighbors in the region.
  • You can sign up to be a driver, to deliver food packages to homebound seniors through the no-contact, “Knock, Drop and Roll” program, here.
  • You can sign up to pack “Share Care Packages” of nutritional food for families facing food shortages, here. Shifts are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Share Food Program’s Roxborough site. Pre-registration is required.

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

West Kensington Ministry

  • Volunteers to help deliver food and resources (schedule is flexible)
  • Contact: 267-879-6310 or adan.mairena@gmail.com

Bebashi – Transition to Hope

  • A nonprofit agency that provides access to culturally sensitive healthcare services, HIV/AIDS services, health education, and other social services.
  • To manage the influx of people, they have expanded their food pantry hours and are looking for more volunteers to pack bags for families. 
  • People who want to volunteer can reach out to Bahir Eley at bahire@bebashi.org
  • You can also contact them at 215-769-3561 regarding volunteer opportunities.

Click here to go back to the menu.

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?

Click here to go back to the menu.

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 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.

Click here to go back to the menu.