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 Travel in the DVRPC Region - UPDATED 7/13

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 vehicle travel has started to steadiy increase, 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.

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By April 2020, the unemployment rate in all nine counties reached double digits. The rate of unemployment in the City of Philadelphia increased 175 percent to a rate of 16.5 percent, higher than the State of Pennsylvania unemployment rate of 15.5 percent and the national unemployment rate (14.7%). Montgomery County had the largest percent increase in the unemployment rate (241%) from 3.9 percent to 13.3 percent.

Unemployment in the state of New Jersey rose to 15.9 percent, an increase of 261.4 percent from the January 2020 state unemployment rate (4.4%) and higher than the national unemployment rate of 14.7 percent. This rate was higher than all four of the region’s NJ counties. Burlington County had the highest unemployment rate increase of 261.5 percent from 3.9 percent to 13.2 percent and Mercer County has the lowest rate increase of 10.5 percent from 3.9 percent to 10.5 percent.

As the states of PA and NJ begin to reopen, the unemployment rates for the Greater Philadelphia region have improved. The chart below shows the unemployment percent change between January 2020 to April 2020 versus April 2020 to May 2020.

Unemployment Percent Change

County January to May 2020 April to May 2020
Burlington 220.5% -6.7%
Camden 212.5% -7.4%
Gloucester 210.9% -9.5%
Mercer 166.7% -4.6%
Bucks 184.1% -16.7%
Chester 174.3% -17.2%
Delaware 193.2% -12.2%
Montgomery 192.3% -16.2%
Philadelphia 163.3% -7.1%
NJ 245.5% -6.7%
PA 156.9% -18.6%
US 269.4% -9.5%

The charts provided above only illustrate the total unemployment rate for the county and does not detail which sectors have the highest or lowest number of job losses. As of July 8, 2020, this data is not available for our analysis. However, the national jobs report provides insight into where the unemployment claims fall.

The national jobs report from May 2020, indicated that the leisure and hospitality industry has been significantly impacted. This sector comprises the entertainment and recreation sector — including spectator sports and gambling — and the accommodations and food services sector. In February 2020, 16.9 million Americans worked in that sector (nationwide) and by April, that number had fallen 48.3 percent to just 8.7 million workers. This sector is also regionally significant as it has a location quotient above 1.25. It is easy to assume those employed in the entertainment and recreation sector in Greater Philadelphia has also decreased significantly. This may also be the situation within the personal and laundry services sector, which includes hairdressing, dry cleaning, laundromats and a vast array of other service jobs such as pet care, dating services, photofinishing, parking-lot services and so forth, has also been significantly impacted. In February 2020, 1.5 million Americans worked in this sector, which fell to 700,000 in April 2020.

For more information about unemployment sectors and the impact of COVID-19, visit www.bls.gov

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 06/04/2020)
Note: April unemployment rate as has been updated; May unemployment rate is preliminary.

Municipal Responses to COVID-19 Survey

DVRPC conducted a survey of municipal responses to COVID-19 and technical assistance needs from DVRPC.
See this powerpoint for survey results. [0.5 MB pptx]

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