Philly officials launch new efforts to combat virus, ease economic impact

Pat Loeb
May 08, 2020 - 3:18 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Philadelphia officials launched two new efforts one to combat the virus, the other to ease the economic impact — as the city reported 470 more cases of COVID-19 Friday, which brings the total number to 17,517, with 59 additional fatalities. The death toll in the city now stands at 875. 

Councilmembers Darrell Clarke and Kathy Gilmore Richardson handed out masks to people in Brewerytown, as they arrived to pick up food boxes.  

Clarke said council plans to hand out 32,000 masks in the next week and is securing more for future giveaways.

“And we will continue to do this until we make sure everyone can basically mask up,” he said. 

Council appropriated $400,000 for its members to spread the stay-at-home message, but Clarke said that's not always possible. 

“Some people are not getting the message, some people are not adhering to the message and some people don't have the wherewithal to get masks to be safe,” he said. 

Health officials have said masks will be crucial to reopening the city.

The shutdown has also created dire financial conditions for many residents. 

The city has launched a new rental assistance program to help that will provide up to $2,500 to cover three months of rent for people who have lost income due to the shutdown. The program has limited funding ,but officials estimate it will keep 3,000 people in their homes through July.

For more information on where renters can apply or to help make donations, click here