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In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, News by PHL Council

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Philadelphia, March 16, 2020 – Following the announcement today by city officials of new restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and after consulting with Council’s Leadership, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) today announced the following actions to protect the public’s health as well as the health of City Council Members and staff.

“These actions are in accordance with guidance that we are receiving from the Centers for Disease Control, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Kenney Administration,” said Council President Clarke. “Reducing the spread of the coronavirus is our top priority right now. People need to stay safe and stay home.”

  1. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all City Council employees need not report to work at City Hall or district offices. Social distancing is recommended by public health authorities to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Members of Council can provide further guidance as necessary to their staffs. This measure is effective through Friday, March 27, when it will be revisited.
  2.  All City government buildings are closed to the public, effective Tuesday, March 17. Essential City of Philadelphia government operations – including public safety, public health, human services, sanitation, utilities and payroll – will continue.
  3. Council Budget Hearings. City Council hearings on the Mayor’s proposed FY 2021 city budget are postponed. Further information will be provided at a later date.
  4. Status of Council Meetings and Hearings. Council’s Stated Meeting of March 19 is cancelled. A hearing in the Committee on Rules scheduled for March 18 is also cancelled. There are no other hearings scheduled for this week.
  5. City Businesses. As per the directive of Mayor Kenney, only essential city businesses should remain open. The city has designated the following businesses as essential: Supermarkets, grocery stores, big box stores, pharmacies, discount stores and mini-markets, daycare centers, hardware stores, gas stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and dry cleaners, vet clinics for pets and pet stores. For a complete list of businesses that can remain open, visit:
  6.  Food establishments may only accommodate online and phone orders for delivery and pickup and cannot allow dine-in service.
  7. Worker Protections.  In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the city Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance will not be enforcing predictability pay as of the 4/1/20 effective date of the “Fair Workweek” law until further notice. However, employers should still comply with other portions of the law.
  8. Sick Leave. The “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” is expanded so that covered workers can use paid sick leave for coronavirus related business closures, quarantines, and to stay home with children during school closures.
  9. Residents with questions can call the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline at 1-800-722-7112. Or go online to

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