COVID-19 2021 Update


What We’re Doing

We’re monitoring and following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat of COVID-19 exposure to employees and clients. Our affiliates, in many cases, remain open to serve you. Each affiliate has an emergency management plan, in accordance with their state, on how to proceed in our current climate. Some locations have had their hours adjusted as a result of local conditions. For the latest updates on affiliate hours, you can visit the websites of your local affiliate.

COVID-19 Legislative Updates: Roundup of Federal, State, and Local Actions (The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia)


  • The Kenney Administration estimates the City stands to lose $100 million per year due to a permanent shift to remote working for suburbanites during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Creating tax revenue for the City by attracting suburban workers back into the city and creating new jobs for city residents is key to closing this potential budget deficit.
  • Mayor Kenney has included a significant investment in job growth in his recently proposed budget which should help boost revenues.
  • The arguments against business and wage tax reduction from some City Council members are confusing as high taxes only hurt the types of small and medium neighborhood businesses the city needs to grow and support.
  • Help us to address these issues and advance our inclusive growth agenda through informal engagement with members of City Council as a Council Connector. Read the full report to learn how to get engaged.
  • At yesterday’s City Council session a bill was introduced to create a new class of covered PHL Airport employees to receive prevailing wage benefits.
  • City Council passed a bill this week adding required conditions and information for reporting adjustments to taxable income.
  • FY22 Budget Hearings will be held next week to address budgets for the Managing Director’s Office, Law, Chief Administrative Office, Philadelphia School District, Community College of Philadelphia, Fire Department, Police Department, Prisons Department and Planning and Development.
  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia have exceeded 140,400 with 3,501 deaths.
  • Starting today, May 7, the City is scheduled to relax some Safer-at-Home restrictions including increased capacity for indoor dining, an increase in table sizes, and the reintroduction of indoor catered events at 25% occupancy.
  • In all of these situations, the Health Commissioner made a strong recommendation that anyone participating in these higher-risk and higher-density events should be vaccinated first.
  • The Chamber will host virtual events with the City’s Director of Finance (May 12) and the Department of Human Services (May 24). Read the full weekly update below to learn more and register.


  • The Wolf Administration issued a final rule for the regulatory plan that would make Pennsylvania part of the RGGI, a multi-state consortium committed to reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions through carbon credits.
  • Labor unions and legislators from energy producing counties contend that joining the RGGI could hurt jobs and businesses in Pennsylvania. To be enacted, the rule must go through two state regulatory boards with veto power.
  • The House voted to send HB72 to the Senate, a bill that would require an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a cost burden of $1 million or more per year on the state, municipalities, and the business community.
  • The House also voted for HB950, a bill that seeks to allow the General Assembly to initiate the repeal of any regulation currently in effect by concurrent resolution, with the House, Senate and Governor all needing to approve the resolution.
  • HB139 was approved in the House and would require government agencies to create more transparency, ease-of-use, and third-party oversight during the permitting process. Similar measures have been opposed by Governor Wolf.
  • Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue continues to be better than expected with collections coming in at $28.2 million more than anticipated for April, keeping the state’s year-to-date collections 4.2% ahead of the estimate.


  • Members of U.S. House of Representatives last week submitted their respective Community Funding Project requests, commonly referred to as earmarks.
  • Each Member of Congress can submit up to 10 community project requests for their state or local governments or nonprofits in their districts, but only a fraction of their requests are funded each year.
  • Members of our congressional delegation have posted their earmark requests to their websites. Read the full update to access links to the lists of requests from our region.
  • Earlier this month, Senate Republicans took a largely symbolic and non-binding vote to reaffirm their ban on earmarks instead of joining Democrats and House Republicans to revive the practice. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to issue instructions for requesting earmarks this week.
For detailed Federal, State, and Local Legislative Updates follow the link below.

CDC Vaccine Guidance

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

COVID-19 Guidance for OICA

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has all of our attention. I wanted to let you know the OIC Network is doing everything possible to keep our employees, clients, and community members, safe while delivering essential services.

Businesses and Workplaces

For Employers and Businesses

Guidance and strategies to help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19

Plan, Prepare, and Respond – Updated October 2020

See the CDC’s Guidelines here –

See the OSHA COVID-19 guidancepdf iconexternal icon for more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures, according to their exposure risk. Plans should consider that employees may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms.

All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in your workplace. This should include activities to:

  • prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
  • maintain healthy business operations, and
  • maintain a healthy work environment.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: Speech in Rocky Mount, N.C., November 1962

The OICA team visited the auditorium in Rocky Mount where Dr. Martin Luther King gave the original “I have a dream” address. The below article gives historical background on his visit to Rocky Mount.

By Michael Hill

Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History, 2006

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OICA Site Visit at OIC of Wilson

OIC of America visited OIC of Wilson to learn about how they’re providing skills training and implemented SOAR to help North Carolina’s returning citizens.  The OIC of America team was treated to unrivaled southern hospitality and a host of promising practices to bring to the network.

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Honoring Elton Jolly, an OIC Legend (1931-2019)

Elton Jolly was one of the original members of the OIC movement with Dr. Leon H. Sullivan.  Elton’s impact helped shaped OIC into the powerhouse of an organization that it would become and is still impacting lives in a positive way some 55 years later in 2019.  Given Elton’s impact on OIC in the formative years,  I thought it important to share with you an excerpt from his testimony before the House of Representatives in 1978 to give you some insights into his thinking regarding poor people in this country and what was needed to improve their situation and the role OIC would play.

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OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program featuring Gerald Alston of the Manhattans

Gerald Alston, the revered lead singer for the Grammy Award-winning R&B group the Manhattans, is the first entertainer to become a part of the new OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program(CAP). OICA Celebrity Ambassadors are leaders in the entertainment industry, representing the fields of film, television, music, sports and beyond. 

The program is designed to help raise awareness about OICA/OIC and the work being done to support and enable the economically disadvantaged, unemployed and under-employed people of all races and backgrounds to become productive, more fulfilled members of society.  This work is being done through a Network of 35 Affiliates located in 22 states around the US. The organization’s motto is “Helping People Help Themselves “and Gerald Alston is a huge advocate of helping others to reach their full potential. 

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OIC of America Awarded U.S. Department of Labor Reentry Grant Totaling $4,500,000

Date: July 3, 2019

SOAR program expands from eleven to twelve affiliates and program partners in seven states

Philadelphia, PA – OIC of America (OICA) was awarded a new three-year U.S. DOL Reentry Grant totaling $4,500.000 which will expand its SOAR program. Starting July 1, 2019, this grant will serve adults 25 years of age and older. This represents a total of 5 grants awarded to OICA as an intermediary in the past three years, bringing their U.S. DOL Reentry total awards to $22.2 million dollars and more importantly serving approximately 3000 returning citizens. This award allowed OICA to expand their current program from eleven Affiliates and program partners to twelve, covering six states, which is 32% of their affiliate network, and 27% of their current U.S. state coverage. 

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OICA Community Reentry Resource & Job Fair

On Friday, June 7, 2019, OIC of America, is celebrating Reentry Month and the second anniversary of our SOAR reentry program by partnering with Philadelphia OIC and the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition to host our second annual Community Resource & Job Fair. The event is free to the public and partners, and will include music, face painting, games, refreshments, and an abundance of resources for the community.

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