Guidance on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 while reporting is available in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.

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Mobile Billboards. Last weekend, the City deployed trucks outfitted with LED billboards to remind Philadelphians to stay home. These trucks will be out citywide again this weekend at parks and other public spaces where we continue to see groups congregating. To coordinate photos or video of the trucks, contact press@phila.gov. 

Free Pack n’ Play program. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health continues to offer free Pack n’ Play cribs so babies have a safe place to sleep. Due to the COVID-19 Stay at Home Order, it has been difficult to give out these cribs, but our partners at Indego have stepped up. Indego vans that would normally be transporting bikes are now helping to deliver cribs in no-contact fashion! Expecting moms who are having trouble getting a crib are encouraged to call the Health Department at 267-432-5844. More information on free cribs and other resources for pregnant women and families can be found here. Contact: James Garrow, james.garrow@phila.gov. 

Transitional jobs program. Philadelphia Works, the City’s workforce development board, has developed a transitional jobs program that will pay 100 percent of the wages for 400 workers to assist in city wide food and laptop distribution. This supports the School District of Philadelphia’s efforts to inventory and distribute over 100,000 pieces of computer equipment so that students can participate in distance learning. To date, 250 people have been hired. This program is set to run through June 30, 2020, with a possible extension. Contact: Dawn Thomas, DThomas@philaworks.org. 

COVID-19 Community Response Captain Program. Using the format of the Census Champion training and the existing networks and relationships that Philly Counts has established through their 2020 Census work, the COVID-19 Community Response Captain outreach plan aims to ensure Philadelphians have access to the resources and services they critically need during this moment of crisis. The program is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and French. More than 1,800 people have been trained so far. Contact: Irene Contreras, irene.contreras.reyes@phila.gov. 

Library resources are still available. The Free Library of Philadelphia has many digital resources available for residents, including ebooks, audiobooks, databases, streaming media, and more. Patrons can still reach librarians through email and text via the eReference page. The library has also added a number for virtual programs that can be found on the website here. Contact: Kaitlyn Foti, FotiK@freelibrary.org. 

Resources for families and early learning providers during COVID-19. During this challenging time, the wellbeing and development of our city’s children remain top priorities. In light of the school and business closures caused by COVID-19, the City’s PHLpreK team has compiled recommended activities and resources for families and childcare providers. 

Where to find free, nutritious food during COVID-19. At phila.gov/food, an easy to use resource (available in multiple languages) provides the most up-to-date listing of food and meal sites. Check back often to confirm sites and schedules, as this information continues to change.

New primary election date: What you need to know. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania 2020 presidential primary election has been rescheduled to June 2, 2020. The new deadline for Philadelphia residents to register for this year’s primary is May 18, 2020. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be requested by Tuesday, May 26. For questions about upcoming elections, contact the Philadelphia City Commissioners: Nick Custodio, nick.custodio@phila.gov. 

The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement has been holding Prayer Pauses for Philadelphia via Facebook Live each week on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3 p.m. A leader from one of Philadelphia’s many faith communities will join Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart and guide participants through a short prayer for health, peace, and wisdom during this destabilizing season. To join, residents can like the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement on Facebook to receive a notification about the live stream.

 On Giving Tuesday, ACCT Philly launched the P.E.T.S. Fund (Philadelphians Empowered Through Support). The COVID-19 has impacted the lives of thousands of our residents and put even more of Philadelphia’s dogs and cats at risk of becoming homeless or being abandoned. As the largest open-intake shelter in the region and Philadelphia’s only Animal Care and Control provider, ACCT Philly is on the front lines, helping these pets and their families stay together. Your donation can help a pet owner in need. Find more information about the P.E.T.S. Fund here. 

Cyber Security and COVID-19 Scams. As an increasing number of people are spending time online during the COVID-19 health crisis, it is important to protect yourself from possible scams and other security issues. Here are some key guidelines to follow:

Be cautious when opening digital attachments and links that you don’t recognize.

Unusual attachments and links in an email can be infected with spyware which can obtain your personal data.

If you receive something from an email address that you don’t recognize or causes alarm, look it up.

Researching the email address, company name, phone number, or address can help you identify if a scam has been reported by others.

Contact press@phila.gov to learn more. 

Domestic Violence Prevention. During this difficult time, we must protect each other from domestic violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of exposure to domestic violence, there are steps to take:

File a Protection From Abuse Order. PFA’s can now be filed by email or by phone from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 215-686-3511 ext. 19217 or email TempPFA@courts.phila.gov. If you need to file in person, visit the Stout Center at 13th and Filbert Streets, Room B-03.

Call the Women Against Abuse Legal Center for domestic violence legal advice at 215-686-7082. Leave a message and a safe number for an advocate to call you back.

Call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014, available 24/7, to speak to a domestic violence advocate for guidelines on how to keep yourself and your children safe.

Immigrant survivors or victims of domestic violence can talk to an advocate by calling the Nationalities Service Center at 215-893-8400 Ext. 1532.

For human trafficking victims services, call the Nationalities Service Center at 215-893-8400 Ext. 1575 or the Salvation Army New Day’s Hotline at 267-838-5866. 

Check out this infographic by the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood initiative that utilizes epidemiologists’ COVID-19 models to calculate how many hospitalizations and deaths can be prevented between now and June by staying home, for those of us who can stay home.

“Quran Teen” Website Opens for Islamic Youth May 12

The Free Library is hosting “Quran Teen,” a virtual celebration in partnership with Philadelphia’s Islamic community. This one of a kind program on May 12 at 2 p.m. will feature an uplifting talk by a local Imam, followed by an introduction to some of the historic handwritten Islamic books in the Free Library’s collection, and will conclude with a melodic and heartwarming recitation from the Quran by a Philadelphia teen. Contact Kaitlyn Foti, FotiK@freelibrary.org, to speak with the organizers of this event.

All young people, the  Philadelphia Parks & Recreation began a daily virtual programming series to bring the athletic, artistic, and self-improvement programs available at the City’s 159 rec centers to residents’ at home. Programs air on Parks & Rec’s Facebook page Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. Daily themes include: Movement Monday, Tuesday Art Club, and Wellness Wednesdays.

 Information for this article was condensed from the Mayor’s Office of Communication Tip Sheet for May, 2020 (Ted Behr).  

Construction activity resumed in Philadelphia May 1. 

New OSHA COVID-19 safety measures in effect to protect workers

Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner Farley issued an Executive Order authorizing construction that was halted by the City’s late March Stay at Home Order to resume on May 1, 2020. 

“Construction managers and workers will have to consistently follow practices that keep their workers and the community safe,” Kenney said. “I’m confident that this will prove to be a much-needed boost to economic activity in the city. And I’m equally confident that everyone involved will be vigilant about adhering to these safe procedures and protocols as this work resumes.”

The OSHA guidelines governing construction work may be found at:     https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200504-COVID-19-Business-Guidance.pdf

Because the Department of Licenses and Inspections rolled out online permitting via its eCLIPSE system on March 16, days before the closure of City offices, the Department has been able to accept new permit applications, review building plans online, and issue permits throughout the shutdown. To learn more contact Karen Guss, Karen.Guss@phila.gov.

Upcoming Observance:

EMS Week (May 17-23) — A time to appreciate paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and the EMS Provider of the Year. Contact Kathy Matheson if you’re interested in profiling an EMS provider.

#ThankYouPhilly: “Philly Shines Blue” To Honor Health Care Workers – Many of the most iconic buildings and landmarks in Philadelphia will continue to shine blue each Tuesday in May in honor of the heroic health care workers and first responders battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

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