PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 312 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 117,768. In addition, the Department of Public Health also announced 61 new probable cases from rapid antigen tests.
The Department of Public Health confirmed 39 additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 3,217. Of the 3,217 total deaths, 1,173 (36%) were long-term care facility residents.
The Department of Public Health reports 266 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of 32 on ventilators.
Open Access for Targeted Zip Codes at the Center City Vaccination Center: Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 17, the City will open walk-up access to eligible people from 22 under-vaccinated zip codes to the FEMA-supported Center City Vaccination Center. The walk-up access will run for six days, through March 22.
This change is intended to provide easier access to COVID-19 vaccine for Philadelphians who live in zip codes that have the lowest rates of COVID-19 vaccinations. The City and FEMA are committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines. Across the country, FEMA is supporting state managed, locally executed Community Vaccination Centers, like the Center City Vaccination Center, in doing the most good for the most vulnerable populations.
The walk-up vaccinations will be open to those who meet Philadelphia’s Phase 1a and 1b eligibility criteria and can prove that they live in the following zip codes using an ID card, a piece of mail with an address, or a PHL City ID.
West and Southwest Philadelphia
Northeast and Lower Northeast Philadelphia
This opportunity is in addition to the current process in which vaccinations are provided to eligible Philadelphia residents by invitation from the City’s Vaccine Interest Form database. Again, the walk-up opportunity begins tomorrow, March 17 and lasts through March 22, 2021 at the Center City Vaccination Center.
Residents seeking to get vaccinated through the open access program should arrive at the clinic before 5 p.m. and be prepared to wait outside to gain access; they should come dressed appropriately for that day’s weather. The entrance to the Center City Vaccination Center is on the northeast corner of 12th and Arch Streets. Screening starts outside of the Convention Center. For questions about who is currently eligible, please visit the City’s blog on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.
The City has identified a number of ways to facilitate getting to the Center City Vaccination Center for people in the targeted zip codes:
- Take Transit: The Center City Vaccination Center is conveniently located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City and is easily accessible from plenty of bus and train routes and is right up the street from SEPTA’s Jefferson Station. Individuals are highly encouraged to use public transit resources to get to and from the site. Seniors who are at least 65 years of age can already ride SEPTA for free. Eligibility criteria and application information can be found here. The City and SEPTA are working with community partners to distribute free roundtrip transit passes for those in targeted zip codes for the walk-up clinic. Transit passes will also be available at the CCVC to provide transit assistance for individuals’ trip back home, and second-dose appointment.
- SEPTA CCT: SEPTA CCT has expanded CCT service for vaccinations. This service is free-of-charge for those who are 65 years of age or older, have a disability or access and functional need, or those who identify ride accommodation needs. SEPTA CCT provides door-to-door service from individuals’ homes, to the vaccination site, and back home after their vaccination. Rides can be scheduled by dialing 3-1-1 and selecting Option 5 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Rides must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.
- Limited Shuttle Services: Limited shuttle service is available, especially for communities that are less transit-accessible. Shuttle services must be coordinated through a central community organization and requested at least three days in advance. The City is reaching out directly to community organizations with information about how to organize shuttle services.
- Parking: There are several parking garages near the Pennsylvania Convention Center offering discounted rates if you show your vaccine card.
More information on open access at the Center City Vaccination Center can be found on the City’s COVID website.
Update on City Special Event Permitting: In July 2020, the City of Philadelphia announced that it would temporarily cease issuing special event permits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Special Events and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will begin accepting event permit applications again today, March 16, 2021. The Streets Department will begin accepting permit applications for block parties and street festivals on April 15, 2021. City departments will work to review and approve applications on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.
All permitted events are subject to the Department of Public Health’s guidance in effect on the date of the event, including crowd size limits. Depending on the size and type of event, organizers will now be required to either certify they will follow all local COVID-19 public health guidance or (for larger events) submit a COVID-19 safety plan for approval.
Approvals will be determined based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance, availability of the requested space on the proposed date, the number of other special events scheduled for the proposed date, and the type and amount of City services required.
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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Forms: The City has launched two forms to help Philadelphians register their interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. These forms are not for registering for an appointment, but will tell the Department of Public Health how to contact you when you are eligible and vaccine is available for you.
- Members of the public are encouraged to register using the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form. The form is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and French. Individuals who do not have access to the internet can contact Philly311 (dial 3-1-1) for help completing the interest form.
- Employers are encouraged to complete the Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Form. Employers that complete this form will be contacted to help set up opportunities to vaccinate their prioritized staff when they are eligible and vaccine is available.
- Businesses with questions about how to comply with the City’s restrictions should email [email protected].
- The PHL COVID-19 Fund continues to solicit donations to aid nonprofits that are on the frontline of the pandemic.
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