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Covid-19 Information

The City of Allentown is actively working with government agencies, hospitals, schools, and businesses to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Affected City Services

THE FOLLOWING SERVICE CHANGES ARE IN AFFECT:
Last Updated: June 23, 2020 : 10:05 a.m.

CITY GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS RE-OPENED ON JUNE 22.

City Allowing Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas for Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars - Effective June 5, 2020

Finance Public Works
  • The Bureau of Recycling & Solid Waste is suspending electronics and paper shredding recycling until further notice. No appointments are being scheduled.
  • Bulk Item Curbside Collection resumed on Wednesday, May 13.
  • The City of Allentown’s Yard Waste Drop-Off Site is open for the season for city residents only. During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency, the site at 1401 Oxford Drive will be open Mondays and Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mulch loading services by city staff are suspended until further notice. Residents may continue to self-load mulch for free.
  • All household trash must be in plastic bags and may not be placed loosely inside a trash can.  This safety measure will contain household waste in a manner that is safer for the collection employees.
Parks
  • Allentown Municipal Golf Course reopened May 1, 2020
  • All park pavilions are closed.  
  • Li’l -Le-Hi Trout Nursery Hatch House from which fish food is sold to the public is closed until further notice
  • Effective March 18, 2020 all City of Allentown Department of Parks and Recreation organized field and pavilion rentals at city facilities are suspended until further notice.
  • Existing scheduled renters will be contacted regarding rescheduling of events or issuing of refunds. No further permits will be issued at this time.
  • All City playgrounds are closed. 
Community & Economic Development Police Department Fire Department
  • Childcare facilities and food establishments with permits expiring in March or April have been extended to June 30.
Special Events
  • Pending Permits - Special event applications that were previously submitted are not being considered for approval at this time. Events meeting the criteria in which a special event permit is required including walks, runs, tournaments, corporate fundraising etc. If you have already applied for an event to be held during the 2020 calendar year, please contact the Special Event Bureau. The Bureau will continue to monitor state and local health recommendations.
  • Future Permits - The City of Allentown special event application process is currently closed. Please note that once they are re-opened, there may be a delayed timeline for processing applications, and granting approvals based on city services requested and health recommendations. Permits will not be issued before the current declaration has been rescinded.

PA Government Orders

  • Wolf Administration Announces Targeted Mitigation Efforts in Response to Recent COVID Case Increases
  • PA Secretary of Health Issues Requirement That a Mask Be Worn in All Public Spaces
  • Governor Wolf moves Lehigh County into the Green Phase
    • Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
      • Continued Telework Strongly Encouraged
      • Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements
      • All Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% Occupancy
      • Child Care May Open Complying with Guidance
      • Congregate Care Restrictions in Place
      • Prison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual Facilities
      • Schools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance
    • Social Restrictions
      • Large Gatherings of More Than 250 Prohibited
      • Masks Are Required in Businesses
      • Restaurants and Bars Open at 50% Occupancy
      • Restaurants may increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting Monday, September 21. The orders apply to all restaurants, private social clubs, and food service businesses that serve dine-in, sit down food in a regular, non-event capacity. The order requires that serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11:00 PM starting on Monday, September 21 and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight. This applies to both restaurants that do not self-certify to increase to 50 percent and those that choose to stay at 25 percent. There is no change to the requirements for the temporary sale of cocktails-to-go and take out alcohol sales from bars, restaurants or hotels with a liquor license.
      • Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment Only
      • Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly Encouraged
      • All Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% Occupancy
      • Construction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of Protocols
      • All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning
      • Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary
  • Applications for CARES financial assistance for renters and homeowners will be available June 29; application submissions can begin July 6
  • Governor Wolf extends PA State of Emergency 90 days
  • PA Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Order issued April 28.
    • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order on May 7, 2020 that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures or evictions through July 10.
      In almost all circumstances, renters and homeowners are required to continue making monthly payments. If you are a Pennsylvanian struggling to make your monthly payments, you should contact your landlord or mortgage servicer immediately.

      PHFA is also taking action to help homeowners and renters. The agency has stopped foreclosures and evictions and is offering forbearances with late fee waivers to homeowners with a PHFA mortgage who are experiencing a financial hardship because of COVID-19. PHFA also developed a list of renters’ rights and responsibilities to clarify the situation for apartment residents and is working with landlords and property managers to distribute it to renters. PHFA is also encouraging Low-Income Housing Tax Credit building managers to be flexible on rent payments and to waive late fees for tenants whose employment has been affected by the crisis.
  • For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit the following website: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

Foreclosures & Evictions

Federal, PA State & Allentown Community Resources

Mitigation Efforts

  • Practice Social Distancing. Social distancing means staying away from close contact in public places. It includes actions like staying out of places where lots of people gather and maintaining distance – approximately 6 feet- from others. Social distancing also includes minimizing contact with people by avoiding public transportation when possible, limiting non-essential travel, working from home, and skipping social gatherings. All Pennsylvanians should practice social distancing – not just those who are seriously ill or at high risk. Social distancing is a proven way to slow the spread of pandemics.
  • Wash Your Hands or use Hand Sanitizer Frequently. Wash especially after you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts or electronic cashier register/screens etc. Wash hands before touching your eyes, nose or mouth because that is how germs enter our bodies.
  • Wear a Mask/Cloth Face Covering. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • A no-visitor policy for correctional facilities and nursing homes has been implemented and will be evaluated for other facilities.
  • The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.

Information for Businesses & Workers

The city understands that no matter what industry you’re in, the COVID-19 Pandemic has likely affected your business in some way. The Lehigh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is conducting virtual meetings with any businesses to provide assistance, information and resources.For questions and assistance please call 610-758-3980 to leave a voicemail or email insbdc@lehigh.edu. Consulting sessions are no cost, one on one and confidential.

Financing Assistance for small/local business

  1. Touch base with your banker - the quickest way access to capital is through a credit line (new or increase), so if you need the most immediate access to cash flow, this is probably your best starting point.
  2. Explain to your banker any issues with cash flow and see if they are able to help. Whether that means forgiving late payments/delaying payments/etc. Communication is key here to address any issues sooner rather than later.
  3. U.S. Small Business Administration
    Federal Funding Options


Additional Resources:



Pennsylvania Workers

The PA Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide employment benefits updates as the situation evolves.
You may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits if:

  • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
  • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-1
  • 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

For more information please refer to: The Office of Unemployment compensation

Homeless Services

Last Updated: May 4, 2020 : 9:30 a.m.

Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank
534 Chew St
Food bank open — Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays; 9:30 a.m. until supplies run out.


Catholic Charities
Our Lady of Mt Carmel
179 Chew Street
Boxed lunches (canned & other non-perishable foods), Fridays and Mondays, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.


Christ Fellowship Church
12th & Chew Streets

Dinner at church Thursdays, Fridays 5 p.m.


Jackson Park
9th & Jackson Streets
Dinner served Saturdays, Sundays 5 p.m.


Jubilee Breakfast Ministry
Zion's UCC
620 W. Hamilton (rear)
There are "grab and go" chicken or sausage and egg sandwiches, fruit, snack and coffee available Thursday, Friday, Saturday, breakfast meal from 7 - 8:30 a.m.


LCC Soup Kitchen
Alliance Hall 6th & Chew Streets
Bagged lunches available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 - 1 p.m.


Operation Address the Homeless
221 N 7th Street
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. providing a hot meal and a bag to go.
Sundays brunch at 12 noon and dinner at 6 p.m.
Showers also available, on a spaced basis to maintain safe distance.


Salvation Army
8th & Turner Streets
Soup kitchen is open 2nd and 4th Sunday at 2 p.m.
Monday hot breakfast served in to go cups 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Emergency food by appointment daily (call 620-432-0129).
Food bank distribution the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of the month (10-12).
The shelter continues to accept clients from the 211 system.


YMCA
425 15th Street
Provides dinner for school age children, 18 and under. Serving from 4-5 p.m. as follows: Monday - dinner pick-up for Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday - dinner pick-up for Wednesday and Thursday; Friday - dinner pick-up for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. An adult must bring the children the first time to get them registered; thereafter the adult alone may pick up food for the children.
They are also open for showers for our homeless neighbors on Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. Pre-registration is required through Ripple Community.

Resources for Local Businesses

The City understands that no matter what industry you’re in, the novel Coronavirus pandemic has likely affected your business in some way. The Lehigh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is conducting virtual meetings with any businesses to provide assistance, information and resources. For questions and assistance please call 610-758-3980 to leave a voicemail or email insbdc@lehigh.edu. Consulting sessions are no cost, one on one and confidential.


Additional Resources:

City Employee Information