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 10/1

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 - July 2020
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 09/08/2020)
Note: May unemployment rate has been updated. June and July unemployment rates are preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for New Jersey (NJ) in July 2020 was 13.8 percent, down from 16.8 percent in June. Of the four NJ counties in our region, three had preliminary unemployment rates below the statewide number. The lowest unemployment rate belongs to Mercer County (10.9 percent) and the highest of the group is Camden County at 14.1 percent. Additionally, all four counties saw a decrease in their unemployment rate from June to July, reversing the previous month’s trend of increased unemployment rates across the board. Since January, all four counties have had at least a 175 percent increase in their unemployment rates. The lowest increase was Mercer County (179.5 percent) and the highest was Burlington County (202.6 percent). Overall, all four counties have lower percent increases in their unemployment rates than the state overall, which has increased 213.6 percent since January.

PA Counties Unemployment
Pennsylvania counties unemployment rate graph
PA Counties Unemployment Rate: January 2020 - July 2020
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 09/08/2020)
Note: May unemployment rate has been updated. June and July unemployment rates are preliminary.

The preliminary statewide unemployment rate for Pennsylvania (PA) in July 2020 was 13.7 percent, up from 13.2 percent in June. This is the second consecutive month the statewide unemployment rate has increased, up from 13.1 percent in May. Of the five PA counties in the region, two (Philadelphia and Delaware) had higher unemployment rates in July than the statewide number. The highest July unemployment rate was Philadelphia County at 19.6 percent, while the lowest was Chester County at 10.5 percent. Like the statewide unemployment rate, all four PA counties in the region also saw an increase in unemployment. The statewide unemployment rate in PA has increased 168.6 percent since January, which is a lower increase than all the PA counties in the region. The closest counties are Chester and Bucks with an increase of 200.0 percent whereas Delaware County has had the highest unemployment rate increase with 229.5 percent.

Unemployment Percent Change

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.

Unemployment Rate Percent Change
County January to July 2020 June to July 2020
Burlington 202.6% -15.7%
Camden 193.8% -15.1%
Gloucester 182.6% -17.2%
Mercer 179.5% -12.1%
Bucks 200.0% 0.8%
Chester 200.0% 1.9%
Delaware 229.5% 3.6%
Montgomery 212.8% 0.8%
Philadelphia 226.7% 7.7%
NJ 213.6% -17.9%
PA 168.6% 3.8%
US 183.3% -8.1%
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 9/08/2020)
Note: June and July unemployment rates are 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