City’s Covid cases hit all-time low, rental assistance program increased

by Kate Dolan
Posted 9/18/20

The city made a significant update to its emergency rental assistance program this week and announced road closures ahead of the Eagles home opener on Sunday, as part of its response to the COVID-19 …

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City’s Covid cases hit all-time low, rental assistance program increased

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The city made a significant update to its emergency rental assistance program this week and announced road closures ahead of the Eagles home opener on Sunday, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been – and continues to be – to keep people in their homes,” said Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday. The mayor announced an increase in funds available to the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, increasing the amount that renters can receive each month to $1,500.

This amount is an increase from $750, the original monthly limit when Phase 2 of the program was launched at the end of June. Phase 1 of the program began in May and was made available to applicants who had lost income due to the pandemic and met certain criteria.

Residents can apply for the assistance of up to $1,500 per month as part of Phase 2 until September 30. The increased funds will automatically apply to residents who have already submitted applications for Phase 2 assistance.

Criteria required for eligibility includes that landlords and tenants must both provide information and residents must have lost 30% of their income as a result of lost hours or wages due to the pandemic. More information is available at phlrentassist.org/phase-2/.

“This additional CARES Act funding for rental assistance allows us to serve landlords and families struggling to make ends meet,” said Kenney.

Ahead of the Eagles home opener on Sunday, September 20, the city has laid out plans to close streets around Lincoln Financial Field and the South Philadelphia sports complex to ensure that tailgating does not occur. Tailgating is prohibited in accordance with the city’s health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For the opener against the Los Angeles Rams at 1 p.m., the streets will be closed from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. and include the following:

  1. 11th Street closed to traffic both ways (Pattison Ave. to Terminal Ave.

Pattison Ave. closed to traffic both ways (S. Broad Street to S. 7th Street.

  1. 10th Street closed to traffic southbound (Packer Avenue and Hartranft Street a.k.a. “Phillies Way”)
  2. Darien Street closed to traffic southbound (Packer Ave. to Pattison Ave.)

The area of 7th to Broad and Packer to I-95 will be blocked to vehicular traffic, reads the city’s September 16 press release.

Kenney encouraged fans to watch the game at home and said “tailgating will not be permitted until further notice.” Streets will be closed for each Eagles home game, also until further notice.

These announcements come as Philadelphia daily coronavirus cases for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were reported at 100 or fewer each day. Additionally, the week prior from September 6 through September 16 saw record lows with an average of 66 cases per day and a 2.6 positivity rate among people tested.

“The average daily case count and the percent positive is the lowest we’ve had since the first week of the epidemic back in March,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley of that period at Tuesday’s COVID-19 update press conference. Dr. Farley added that there may be reporting delays which can alter the numbers. As of Thursday, there have been 35,538 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March and 1,774 fatalities among city residents.

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