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.
CDC Vaccine Guidance
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Learn about the different vaccines available.
- Search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.
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