COVID-19 Information & Resources

Senator Collett hosted a Telephone Town Hall event with PA Labor & Industry to discuss COVID-19 and Unemployment.

May 8, 2020

Senator Collett hosted a Telephone Town Hall event with Montco Commissioner Val Arkoosh to discuss COVID-19 & its impact on our community

March 23, 2020

LIVE daily briefings from the PA Department of Health:
pacast.com/live/doh or www.governor.pa.gov/live/ or watch on Facebook

Symptoms & Testing

Stop the Spread

Social Media Resources

FAQs

Fact Sheets & Resources

Global Map

Dept. of Health News

Translated Materials

Translated Materials

Find the latest information about COVID case numbers, health and safety recommendations, and additional updates on the local and national level:

Symptoms & Prevention

What Are the Symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

I Have Symptoms. Now What?

    • If they’re mild: Stay home, rest, and drink fluids. Take acetaminophen to bring down your fever. If you feel worse, call your health care provider.
    • If they’re severe: For severe symptoms (including a fever above 100°), call your health care provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
    • If it’s an emergency: Call 911.

Help Stop the Spread

COVID-19 spreads like the flu or a cold through the air by coughing or sneezing, though close personal contact, or by touching a surface or an object with the virus on it. Here are some ways to help stop the spread:

Wear a Mask in Public

Members of the public are encouraged to wear homemade cloth or fabric masks. Wear your mask whenever you are out in public and may interact with others outside of your household. Face coverings are required at all Pennsylvania businesses. Learn how to make your own mask here.

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Any soap will do with cold or warm water. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Clean Surfaces

Clean surfaces frequently: countertops, cell phones, light switches, remotes, and other frequently touched items.

Practice Social Distancing

When possible, keep at least a 6 foot distance from yourself and others when you leave home.

If you’re feeling sick, please stay home and call your healthcare provider.

Learn more about the virus and prevention methods on the PA Department of Health’s

COVID-19 Testing 

Read the PA Department of Health’s guidance for testing.

COVID TestingMontgomery County Testing Sites  

All Montgomery County testing sites are appointment only. Anyone who needs or wants a test may get one, whether or not they have symptoms. Testing is limited to those who live or work in Montgomery CountyFor more information and to make an appointment, please visit Montgomery County’s website or call 610-970-2937. 

  •  Pottstown – Montgomery County Office of Public Health, 364 King Street.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Lansdale 421 Main Street.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Willow Grove Montgomery County Office of Public Health, 102 N. York Road (this site will be moving). 
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Green Lane Deep Creek and Snyder Road.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Ardmore 114 W. Lancaster Ave.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Norristown Delaware Valley Community Health Center at the Norristown Regional Health Center at 1401 Dekalb Street.
    • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Commercial and Private Testing Sites 

For additional testing sites, visit PA’s Testing Site Map   

Phased Reopening

Bucks and Montgomery Counties are currently in the GREEN PHASE of reopening. 

Though we are in the Green Phase, the coronavirus is still a serious threat. We should continue to wear our masks, practice good hand hygiene, and social distance whenever possible. Face masks are required in all public spaces. For more information on specific guidelines for each phase, visit pa.gov.

On April 1, Governor Tom Wolf announced a statewide Stay at Home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. In May, the Governor began a phased reopening of the Commonwealth, county-by-county. As of June 5, Bucks and Montgomery Counties entered the Yellow Phase. On Friday, June 26 at 12:01am, the counties moved to the Green Phase of reopening, lifting additional restrictions.

Schools

The PA Department of Education has released updated guidance for Pre-K to Grade 12 schools, including hygiene guidelines, social distance measurements, masking, transportation guidance, and moreThis guidance reflects currently endorsed public health best practices from DOH and is in response to requests from school leaders for state-level health guidance. It serves as minimum standards for practices across all Pre-K to 12 schools with the understanding that more rigorous measures may be required in certain areas depending on community transmission of COVID-19. The science and public health conditions surrounding COVID-19 are continually evolving. This guidance will be updated as necessary when new information becomes available.

For additional details on reopening plans and information on free meal distribution, visit your district’s website: 

Businesses

In the green phase, retail businesses and restaurants with in-person operations are able to reopen with enhanced safety measures. See the state’s Business and Building Safety Orders for detailed guidance.

Please contact Senator Collett’s office with questions or concerns at senatorcollett@pasenate.com.

Funding Opportunities for Business Owners:

State Programs

The second and final round of Statewide Small Business Assistance Grants opens for applications at 9am on Monday, August 10 and closes at 11:59pm on Friday, August 28. For those who have already applied, we have been told awards will begin going out next week (week of August 10). If you don’t get one, your application will be reconsidered in round two.

$225 million in federal CARES Act funding is available through three programs: $100M for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program; $100M for Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program; and $25M for loan payment deferment and loss reserves for loans impacted by COVID-19. All businesses must apply through an eligible Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). 

Federal Programs 

The federal SBA loan application period is open. Pennsylvania was just added to the list of disaster locations (Disaster #: PA-00104) and you can begin the application process here.    

The CARES ACT also established the Paycheck Protection Program. This loan is forgivable in many instances — learn more here.

For Consumers:

If you’re able, please consider supporting local businesses during this difficult time. Consider shopping local, purchasing gift cards, and taking advantage of contactless carry-out or delivery services. To find businesses near you, visit your municipality’s website or social media pages.

Unemployment Compensation

Workers who are unable to work because of COVID-19 may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits or Workers Compensation benefits. The following information is now available on the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s website:

You may be eligible if:

  • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
  • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
  • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts

To help streamline the process during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following changes have been made to UC:

  • The Waiting Week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week”). This has been suspended. Eligible claimants can receive benefits for the first week they are unemployed.
  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with https://www.pacareerlink.pa.gov/jponline/.
Waiting Week Suspended

Labor & Industry has seen an unprecedented amount of UC applications, and their staff is working around the clock to fulfill claims and answer questions.  We know how frustrating this process is. Senator Collett’s staff is available to help answer your questions as best we can.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). In general, PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. Apply HERE

Individuals covered under PUA include:

  • The self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities)
  • Those seeking part-time employment
  • Individuals lacking sufficient work history
  • Those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

You may submit claims backdated to January 27, 2020 or to the date when you became unemployed, whichever is more recent. Learn more about PUA here.

Apply HERE for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC program is available for individuals whose regular unemployment benefits have expired or will expire soon. It is available beginning with week ending April 4, 2020, but not for weeks after December 26, 2020. PEUC is a temporary federal program that provides 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to qualified individuals whose regular unemployment benefits were exhausted on or after July 6, 2019. You cannot apply in advance. You must wait for your regular unemployment benefits to expire before applying for PEUC. Learn more and file here

Learn more about Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and file here

Extended Benefits (EB) Program

The Extended Benefits program is now available to provide up to 13 additional weeks of payments to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC) and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The current Extended Benefit Period began May 3, 2020, but benefits are not payable until an individual has exhausted PEUC benefits. Therefore, EB payments will begin with the week ending July 4, 2020 and is payable only for weeks of unemployment during an EB period. The EB weekly benefit rate (WBR)is the same as the rate payable to individuals on their qualifying regular unemployment compensation claim, including dependents’ allowances (DA).

There is no application process for EB. After the balance of your PEUC claim hits $0, your EB claim will set-up automatically, approximately two days later. Learn more here.

Food Assistance

If you need assistance feeding yourself and your family, know that there are resources that can help. To apply for SNAP and other benefits, use Pennsylvania’s COMPASS system. For help navigating benefits, contact Senator Collett’s office at senatorcollett@pasenate.com or leave a message at 215-368-1429.

To find a food pantry near you, visit bit.ly/PAfoodmap. Many of our local cupboards and food services are listed below. For student meals, please see the Schools section above for information on your local district’s distribution plan.

Free Farmer’s Markets and Food Distribution

Local Cupboards

Meals on Wheels for Seniors

Utility Services

Many Pennsylvanians have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines. Utility services in our area have instituted policies to help ease this burden. If your utility services are not listed below, visit their website for the latest information.

LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery Crisis Program will provide up to $800 in grant funding for to eligible Pennsylvanians to assist with energy bills. Eligibility guidelines are the same as those used during the 2019-20 LIHEAP season. Find instructions and apply on COMPASS. Please contact Senator Collett’s office if you need assistance. 

PECO

PECO has suspended service disconnections and is waiving new late payment charges until further notice. PECO continues to offer their customer assistance programs for those facing financial hardships and are offering new options that spread payments over future months. Learn more

PPL Electric Utilities

PPL will not cut off services to customers for unpaid bills until further notice, and they will reconnect service for customers who have been recently disconnected. For more info, visit their website. 

Comcast

Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s Xfinity Internet, Xfinity Mobile, or Xfinity Voice service, and they will waive late fees if you contact them and let them know that you cannot pay your bills during this period. Xfinity WiFi hot spots will be accessible for free for all Americans. 

Through the end of the year, customers who sign up for Internet Essentials, Comcast’s low-income broadband program, will receive 60 days of free service. The service will cost $9.95 each month following.

For more information, visit their site.

Verizon

Customers who notified Verizon of their inability to pay their bills due to the Coronavirus pandemic by June 30 will be automatically enrolled in Verizon’s Stay Connected repayment program to provide options to stay connected.  Verizon also offers a low-income internet assistance program called Lifeline. For more information on Verizon’s COVID-19 response, visit their website

Transportation & Driver Services

Driver License Centers

Many Driver License and Photo License Centers have reopened with limited services. Open hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM. Wednesday and Thursday between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM will be designated times for customers 60 years or older. In our area, this includes:

  • Huntingdon Valley Driver License Center, 2022 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley
  • King of Prussia Driver License Center, 143 South Gulph Road, King of Prussia
  • Norristown Driver License Center, 1700 Markley Street, Suite 30, Norristown
  • Dublin Driver License Center, 161 North Main Street, Dublin

You can also access driver and vehicle services online. Services include license, ID, and vehicle registration renewals; address changes; driver-history services; driver exam scheduling; driver license and vehicle registration letters; driver license and photo ID duplicates, and ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fees.

License & ID Extended Expiration Date

Driver licenses, photo ID cards, learner’s permits, and photo cards scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through the month of July will be extended until August 31, 2020. More details.

New Deadline for PA Drivers - August 31, 2020

Pennsylvania Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has suspended cash payments. Find out more about accepted forms of payment and stay up-to-date with any changes here.

Public Transportation & Shared Rides

  • For the latest information on SEPTA schedules and safety procedures, visit Septa.org.
  • Transnet will be providing limited rides to essential destinations only. Learn more on their website or call (215) 542-RIDE.
  • Bucks County Transport is taking extensive measures to maintain health and safety. For the latest information, visit their website or call 888-795-0740.

Mental Health & Emergency Resources

The news around coronavirus can be overwhelming. Anxiety, fear, and uncertainty are normal, but it’s important to take care of your mental health – as well as your physical health. See below for local and national resources to help you in a mental health crisis; if you are experiencing abuse; or if you are struggling with substance abuse.

Mental Health 

  • Bucks Crisis Hotline: 1-800-499-7455 (24/7 Availability)
  • Montgomery Crisis Hotline: 1-855-634-HOPE (4673) (24/7 Availability)
  • PA Support & Referral Helpline: 1-855-284-2494 (For TTY, dial 724-631-5600) (24/7 Availability)
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
  • NAMI Bucks County1-866-399-NAMI (6264)
  • NAMI Montgomery County: 215-361-7784  

Domestic Abuse Resources 

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • 24 Hour Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-490-8505   

Sexual Assault Resources

Montgomery County

Bucks County

Substance Abuse & Recovery 

Alzheimer & Dementia Resources