COVID-19 Resources for Local Governments

DVRPC is committed to supporting our local governments and partner agencies weather this pandemic storm and plan for the future.


NEW! DVRPC launches GreaterPHLBikeMatch Program to connect essential workers with donated bicycles

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are biking as a way to commute affordably, safely, and distanced from others. DVRPC is hoping to assist essential workers and those caring for others share in the opportunity to bicycle to their activities. We've partnered with other Bike Match cities to connect people who have an extra bike in ready-to-ride condition with others who need one in a contactless match through #GreaterPHLBikeMatch. Complete either the Have a Bike or Need a Bike short forms on our BikeMatch webpage and let us know if you have any questions. We'll be in touch with you over email if we're able to match you with another participant.

Have questions? Email us at: greaterphlbikematch@dvrpc.org

DVRPC Webinars to Assist Partners during COVID-19

In response to the survey results, DVRPC is offering webinars to help address COVID-19 related issues. Webinar participants will have Q&A time with panelists, and webinars will be recorded for subsequent viewing.

Recording of Past Webinars:

The 5P's that Aren't Pandemic - Retail Strategies

Recording | Originally recorded on June 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to close their doors and the impacts are acute and immediate. This webinar will feature a panel of retail experts discuss the state of the retail industry and offer guidance on how business and Main Streets can navigate through the recovery process.

Report: Five Ps that Aren't Pandemic
Host: Spencer Gober - Planner, Office of Community & Economic Development

This webinar is approved for 1.25 CM credits. Event #9200663

Tips for Successful Telework

Recording | Originally recorded on May 26, 2020

Whether you've always had a telework program for your employees, you had to implement one quickly during the COVID-19 closings, or you're still thinking about implementing one, this webinar will give you the basic info you need to get the most benefits from telework, at any stage of the game.

Host: Stacy Bartels - Manager, Office of Marketing and Commuter Services

Bike Sharing, Bike Libraries and Bike Matching

Recording | Originally recorded on May 22, 2020

With the uncertainties around reopening our region, it's likely that more of us will rely on bicycling as a safe way to commute and recreate, but not everyone has access to their own bike. Join us as we discuss the new considerations for getting bicycles safely to those who don't have their own bicycles.

Host: Liz Compitello - Manager, Local Initiatives and Betsy Mastaglio - Manager, Office of Transit, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

1 CM credit pending

Best Practices for Facilitating Remote Meetings

Recording | Originally recorded on May 19, 2020

DVRPC's Office of Communications & Engagement will share some of the practices the Commission has adopted to move our regular convenings online. We'll share tips for making working meetings with colleagues less painful, and what things we're considering for online public meetings. Time permitting, participants will be asked to share their experiences with remote meetings.

Host: Alison Hastings - Manager, Office of Communications and Engagement

This webinar is approved for 1.5 CM credits. Event #9200215

Adapting Streets for Safe Outdoor Social Distancing

Recording | Originally recorded on May 15, 2020

Many towns and cities are adapting streets to offer more safe space for walking and biking during social distancing. Some places have removed street parking to increase available space for walking, and others have closed entire streets to vehicle traffic. Learn about these adaptations and get ideas to try in your community, now and in the future.

Host: Greg Krykewycz - Associate Director of Multimodal Planning

This webinar is approved for 1 CM credits. Event #9200234

COVID-19 Impacts on Downtowns in the DVRPC Region

COVID-19 Impacts on Travel in the DVRPC Region - UPDATED 2/24

Travel in the DVRPC region has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Beginning in mid- March, the region saw steep declines in driving and even steeper declines in transit ridership as the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Governors’ stay-at-home orders went into effect. As travel and mobility declined, measures show that social distancing increased significantly. Freight movements did not decline as much as overall vehicle miles traveled, and data showed that truck speeds on interstates increased significantly during this time period. However, since the end of April overall person miles traveled has started to steadily increase and has surpassed February levels, social distancing has declined, and truck speeds have started to decrease. The region’s trails have had a sustained significant increase in use, as many people seek recreational options during this time. Additional details on travel impacts will be updated frequently and are available by clicking on the links below:

COVID-19 Impacts on Unemployment in the DVRPC Region

At the beginning of 2020, the United States was experiencing an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Only Chester County (3.5%) had an unemployment rate lower than the national average, and Burlington, Mercer, and Montgomery followed closely with an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. In January 2020, the City of Philadelphia (6.0%) had the highest unemployment rate, which was 61 percent higher than the national rate of 3.6 percent. Then on March 19, 2020, the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey ordered all but “life-sustaining” business to close to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

NJ Counties Unemployment
New Jersey counties unemployment rate graph
NJ Counties Unemployment Rate: January 2020 - Nov 2020

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 01/14/2021)
Note: Sep unemployment rate has been updated. November unemployment rate is preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for New Jersey (NJ) in November 2020 was 10.2 percent, an increase of 52.2 percent since September. This reverses the trend from June through September where the unemployment rate decreased by 60.1 percent from 16.8 percent to 6.7 percent. Camden County is the only county that had a higher unemployment rate than the state (10.5 percent). The lowest unemployment rate within DVRPC’s region was in Mercer County at 8.2 percent. Like the statewide trend, all four counties saw an increase in their unemployment rates for the second month in a row. From September to November, the unemployment rates in each county increased by at least 60 percent. While all four counties still had higher unemployment rates in November than they did in January, they have come down at least 30 percent since June. The largest decrease was in Gloucester County, which went from an unemployment rate of 15.7 percent in June to 9.3 percent in November.

PA Counties Unemployment
Pennsylvania counties unemployment rate graph
PA Counties Unemployment Rate: January 2020 - Nov 2020

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 01/14/2021)
Note: Sep unemployment rate has been updated. November unemployment rate is preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for Pennsylvania (PA) in November 2020 was 6.6 percent, down 20.1 percent from September and 59 percent since its peak in April. This is the seventh consecutive month the statewide unemployment rate has decreased. Of the five PA counties in the region, Philadelphia County was the only one with a higher unemployment rate (9.4 percent) than the state. Chester County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate among these counties at 4.1 percent. Unlike the NJ counties, none of the PA counties saw an increase in their unemployment rates from September to November; instead, each county has seen a decrease in its unemployment rate of at least 20 percent during this period.

Unemployment Percent Change
CountyJanuary to November 2020June to November 2020
Burlington117.9%-39.7%
Camden118.8%-36.7%
Gloucester102.2%-40.8%
Mercer110.3%-33.9%
Bucks20.5%-59.5%
Chester17.1%-60.2%
Delaware40.9%-55.7%
Montgomery28.2%-58.7%
Philadelphia56.7%-48.4%
NJ168.4%-39.3%
PA40.4%-50.0%
US91.4%-39.6%
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 1/14/2021)
Note: Sep unemployment rate has been updated. November unemployment rate is preliminary.

As the states of PA and NJ begin to reopen, the unemployment rates in the NJ counties are trending downward from their previous highs. The rates of increase are slowing down in the PA suburban counties, but the unemployment rate itself is still trending upward in the City of Philadelphia. The chart below shows the unemployment rate percent change between January 2020 to July 2020 versus June 2020 to July 2020.

Municipal Responses to COVID-19 Survey

DVRPC conducted a survey of municipal responses to COVID-19 and technical assistance needs from DVRPC.

Resources

As many partners are seeking COVID-19 related guidance, DVRPC is compiling a growing list of resources below. Any questions can be directed to Patty Elkis, Director of Planning, at pelkis@dvrpc.org

COVID-19 Webinars for Local Government
DVRPC Resources

DVRPC resources to consider for grant applications and other purposes during the COVID-19 stay at home order and anticipated recovery period:

Membership Organizations' Resources
State, County and Partner Agency Resources
Other COVID-19 Information