Coping with COVID-19


Gov. Wolf and state health officials are now recommending you wear a homemade or paper mask if you must leave the house for a life-sustaining reason.  Click here for information and instructions on mask making.

The process for businesses seeking waivers to the statewide shutdown order will end at 5 p.m. today.  More than 34,000 requests have been received and more than 5,000 approved. Click here for more info.

There is a looming public health emergency in our state prison system that will require quick and decisive action from all three branches of government. The inmates and staff at correctional institutions are Pennsylvanians equally deserving of our support and protection from the risk of Covid-19. Read full statement.


Senator Farnese Hosts Telephone Town Hall on the Coronavirus


The Philadelphia COVID-19 helpline is: 800-722-7112

The City of Philadelphia has a resource page for information about the local response to COVID-19, click here to visit the page.

The PA Department of Health
The PA Department of Health is the best one-stop resource for COVID-19 information. Click here to learn more.

For more on state government action and resources, click here.

Contact My District Office

My staff is available by email and phone to provide service from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Please email for service or leave a voicemail at 215-952-3121 (Philadelphia) or 717-787-5662 (Harrisburg) with detailed information on your concern and your contact information.

Help for Businesses

Philadelphia has set aside $9 million to help small businesses affected by recent shut-down orders.  Click here for more information.

With hundreds of requests for waivers coming in, the governor’s office has revised its list of businesses that are allowed to remain open and pushed enforcement back to 8 a.m. Monday. For detailed information on this order, CLICK HERE.

Report your business closure:

Seek closure exemptions:

The PA DCED website has clarification and updates on closures as well as the lastest information on disaster loans.

Visit or call 1-866-466-397 website for information.

Gov. Wolf has asked for a disaster declaration that would make PA businesses eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration.

These loans offer up to $2 million with long-term payments.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO or call the number above.

The Philadelphia Department of Commerce is taking a survey to gather information to map out a response.   Click here to take the survey.

Pennsylvania’s Covid Working Capital Access program, designed to give immediate help to small businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis, is now accepting applications.  Click here to apply.

Pennsylvania’s Small Business Development Centers is conducting webinars to guide business owners through the Small Business Associations emergency loan program.  Click here for info.

Help for Workers

Rep. Joe Hohenstein and I are introducing Emergency Sick Pay legislation that will fill the gaps and expand the federal aid bill passed by the U.S. Congress.   It will also prevent you from being fired or laid off for self-isolation. 

If your income is affected by business closure related to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment and online application.  PA is waiving certain waiting periods and urging online applications. For information, click here.

The Public Utility Commission has ordered a stop to all utility service terminations. Click here for info.

The Supreme Court has halted all evictions and non-essential court functions. Click here for info.

United Way of Pennsylvania COVID-19 Resource Page – Click here
One-stop shop for resources most relevant and helpful to the general public during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Updated daily.

Online search of PA 211 Resources Database – Click here
A way for anyone to search for the resources they need, when they need them, in their community. This self-guided search is tied to the 211 resource database and is the most up-to-date information 211 has.

COVID-19 Nonprofit Resources Hub – Click here
United Way of Pennsylvania has created a resource hub which is tailored to nonprofits and organizations responsible for providing health and human

Unemployment Compensation

If your income is affected by business closure related to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment and online application.  PA is waiving certain waiting periods and urging online applications. For information

Workers can get information on the latest unemployment news here:


How to Get Tested for COVID-19

The drive-through testing center at Citizens Bank Park is now open, however you still must follow the guidelines to get a test.  The PA Department of Health has put together guidelines to follow. To view the guidelines and for more information, click here.

How to get tested

Teaching Children About COVID-19

Children may feel frightened, overwhelmed, and traumatized from what they are hearing and seeing about COVID-19. The American Academy of Pediatrics and NASP have put together ways we can help reduce their fears and help them feel safe. For more information and details, click here.

Talking to Children About COVID-19

School Closures and Meals

NEW: The legislature passed a bill that guarantees educators, bus drivers, and other school employees won’t take a hit to their salaries or pension benefits while schools are out of session.  It also waives the requirement that schools provide 180 days of instruction each year.

Philadelphia will provide food for families two days a week. Sites are open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Residents can pick up one box per household. Supplies will last up to five days. Residents do not need to present an ID or proof of income for eligibility. For more information, click here.

PA’s Department of Human Services has created a map of child-care centers that have received waivers to operate during the Covid-19 crisis.  Click here to see it.

For times and locations of meal distribution.  Click here.

All schools in the School District of Philadelphia til further notice.

The district is coordinating with the city’s Office of Children and Families, Parks & Recreation, and many other departments and nonprofit partners to provide meal service and activities in safe spaces throughout the city.

To find meal distribution times and locations, click here.


Until further notice, SEPTA Key Senior & Reduced Fare Card processing programs at SEPTA Headquarters and the Accessible Travel Center at Suburban Station will be closed, and all replacement cards will be handled by mail.  For more information on COVID-19 and public transit visit: COVID-19 Tips to Fight Flu and Colds.


The federal tax deadline has been moved back to July 15. For information about your federal taxes, click here.

PA is also moving tax deadlines for individuals and businesses, as well as extending the deadline for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program. For information on state tax changes, click here.

Professional Licensure

Pennsylvania’s Department of State is waiving some licensure requirements, from health-care workers to barbers. Click here for details.

PUCPublic Utilities

Public utilities are also making COVID related closures and adjustments. For information on PGW visit PGWORKS.COM/RESIDENTIAL/COVID-19. For information on other utilities, click here.

Price Gouging and Scams

COVID-19 isn’t the only virus spreading. Scammers are already at work trying to use this crisis as a way to steal your personal information.  Don’t click on email links unless you’re sure of the sender and visit for more information.

If you think someone is price gouging over the pandemic, you can email

The PA Department of Health

The PA Department of Health is the best one-stop resource for COVID-19 information. Click here to learn more.


The PA Turnpike is suspending cash and credit card toll payments.  Travelers must use EZPass or receive a bill in the mail.  For more information click here.

Drivers Licences and Registration

PennDOT has closed all in-person service centers, but March expirations have been extended.  For more information, click here.

Information on Elections

NEW: The House and Senate passed a bill moving Pennsylvania’s primary election from April 28 to June 2. The bill also will allow county election boards to move poll workers outside of their home precincts, consolidate polling places, and allow establishments that sell alcohol to host polling places. 

You can still apply to vote from home for the June  primary election. Get an application by clicking here.



The CDC says there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19. If you are home for social distancing, you can interact as you normally do.  However, if you suspect you have contracted the virus, you should avoid extended contact. 

Also, officials are working on plans for shelters an pets made homeless during the crisis.

For more information, see the links below.

The Department of Agriculture has issued guidance for pet owners, shelters and kennels.  Click here for info.

How You Can Help

So many Philadelphians have called in asking how they can help during this crisis.  Here are a few ways. 

Philadbunance is taking donations and seeking volunteers to continue their mission of fighting hunger.  It’s only going to get more important.  CLICK HERE

The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps, a city-sponsored organization that trains volunteers for medical crises is seeking volunteers.  CLICK HERE

With blood drives shut down, donations are badly needed. CLICK HERE

The PHL COVID-19 Fund is collecting funds to support the local community. CLICK HERE

Angelfood needs volunteers. Click here.

If you want to volunteer for emergency disaster response efforts, consider SERVPA, a secure, confidential volunteer registry site. Registering through SERVPA simply says that you are open to the idea of volunteering in case of an emergency.  Click here to register.

Jefferson Health System is accepting donations of badly needed medical supplies.  If you, or your organization, can help click here.

Visit Philadelphia’s food donation website, click here.

Hate Crimes

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic is being exploited by bigots who are trying to falsely blame Asian Americans and other immigrants and visitors.  This is unfounded, unacceptable and unamerican.  If you think you are the victim of a hate crime, call 911. For non-emergencies call 215-686-4670 or the anonymous hotline at 215-686-2856.  Click here for information on hate crimes and discrimination in Philadelphia.