City of Philadelphia Press Briefing – May 22, 2020

From the City of Philadelphia – live video here:

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 309 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 21,009.

The Department of Public Health noted continued progress in congregate settings, including nursing homes and the Department of Prisons. No additional incarcerated individuals have tested positive. The current total of positive cases at correctional facilities is three. Current and cumulative totals of positive cases in Philadelphia prisons are now posted on the testing and data page of the City’s COVID-19 website.

The Department of Public Health confirmed 56 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,221. Of the 1,221 total deaths, 647 (53%) were long-term care facility residents.

The Department of Public Health reports 549 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 1,084 people hospitalized in the region (including Philadelphia).

The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition announced the creation of the PA Immigrant Relief Fund. This is a statewide fund that will provide one-time emergency cash assistance to individuals excluded from federal COVID-19 relief programs. Launched with a $500,000 gift from The Douty Foundation in Philadelphia, the PA Immigrant Relief Fund has set a goal of raising $4 million by June 30, 2020, and helping 5,000 immigrants with direct cash assistance.

In its first round of distribution, the Philadelphia Foundation, which houses the PA Immigrant Relief Fund, distributed funds to 30 organizations across the state who are providing $800 in cash assistance to 580 individuals statewide. The application process for organizations to participate in future distributions will be announced by the coalition in the coming weeks.

This fund is hosted by PA is Ready!, an innovative, community-led network and participatory grantmaking fund rooted in and serving diverse immigrant and refugee communities across Pennsylvania. Individuals can donate to the PA Immigrant Relief Fund through the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

Nice Tweets: Kindness During a Crisis: In honor of 1-4-3 Day in PA, the Mayor and other City officials released a Nice Tweets video—a play on the mayor’s “Mean Tweets” series. Mayor Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, Fire and OEM Commissioner Adam Thiel, Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams, and Emma Giardina, Sections Chief of the Emergency Operations Center, read some kind tweets that people have shared with the City on social media. Everyone can use a little kindness right now.

Philly 311 Hours: Philly311’s contact center remains open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday and will also be open extended hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m this weekend, May 23 and 24. Residents can place a service request by calling 3-1-1 or dialing (215) 686-8686 or through submitting service requests online. Language translation services are available. The Philly311 call center will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday May 25. 

Testing Site Map: A testing site finder at phila.gov/testing helps people find a free COVID-19 test in Philadelphia. Anyone can search for a site by address, click on a map location for specific site information, and filter by day of week and by drive-thru or walk-up.

Each of the nearly fifty testing sites has its own requirements, and that information is included for each location on the map. For example, some sites require referrals, appointments, or certain criteria for patients. No sites require payment, insurance, or proof of citizenship. Residents are strongly encouraged to call first for an appointment or referral; all necessary phone numbers are available on the map.

The finder is available in six languages, and the map will continue to be updated as new testing sites are opened.

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

Reminder – The City will not be holding a COVID-19 press conference during Memorial Day weekend. Press releases will be issued on Saturday, May 23 and Monday, May 25. The press conferences will resume on Tuesday, May 26.

COVID-19 Resources:

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