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

  • From the Five Ps that Aren't Pandemic effort, location analytics was identified as one tool that could be used to assist the region's downtowns in the post-pandemic economic recovery. Most simply put, location analytics refers to analysis of de-identified, geolocated cell phone data procured from a third party vendor. DVRPC contracted with the Buxton Co. in October 2020 to procure access to their database and analysis platform, and conducted an analysis of 75 of the region's downtowns to determine what impact the pandemic had on visits to and the trade areas of these downtowns.
  • Using Location Analytics to Plan for a Post Pandemic Economic Recovery
  • Tableau Interactive Dashboard [64 MB]

All 75 downtowns are listed below by county, and a link to the findings for each will posted as soon as they are available.

Downtown Analysis Reports
10 Least Impacted Downtowns

Beginning the week of March 15, 2021, one year into the pandemic’s economic fallout, DVRPC launched the Diverse Downtowns social media campaign to highlight and provide a detailed snapshot of Greater Philadelphia’s 10 least impacted downtowns. The campaign will run through the week of May 31, 2021, and each of the downtowns highlighted will be listed below as they are revealed.

8. Will be announced the week of April 5.

Bucks County

Langhorne Borough
Morrisville Borough
Newtown Borough
Perkasie Borough
Sellersville Borough
Yardley Borough

Burlington County

Maple Shade Township
Mount Holly Township
Palmyra Borough
Riverside Township

Camden County

Laurel Springs Borough
Pennsauken Township
Pine Hill Borough

Chester County

Malvern Borough

Delaware County

Haverford Township (Brookline)
Haverford Township (Oakmont)
Lansdowne Borough
Marcus Hook Borough
Norwood Borough
Ridley Park Borough
Swarthmore Borough

Gloucester County

Paulsboro Borough
Pitman Borough
Swedesboro Borough
Wenonah Borough
Westville Borough

Mercer County

Hightstown Borough
Trenton (State Street)

Montgomery County

Hatboro Borough
Lower Merion Township (Bryn Mawr)
Lower Merion Township (Haverford)
Narberth Borough
Norristown Borough
Pottstown Borough
Telford Borough

Philadelphia County

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
NJ Counties Unemployment Rate: January 2020 - Nov 2020

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 3/09/2021) Note: Nov unemployment rate has been updated. December unemployment rate is preliminary.

In December 2020, the preliminary statewide unemployment rate in New Jersey was 7.7 percent, which is a 25 percent decrease from the previous month. This reverses the trend from September through November where the unemployment rate increased by 50.2 percent from 6.7 percent to 10.2 percent.  In December 2020, Camden County had a higher unemployment rate than the state (7.9 percent) and Mercer County had the lowest unemployment rate 6 percent.  Similar to the New Jersey statewide trend, the unemployment rate decreased in all four counties from the previous month. While all four counties still had higher unemployment rates in December than January, the rate has fallen at least 50 percent since June 2020. The largest decrease was in Gloucester County, which went from an unemployment rate of 15.7 percent in June 2020 to 7 percent in December 2020. 

PA Counties Unemployment
PA Counties Unemployment Rate: January 2020 - Nov 2020

Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 3/09/2021) Note: Nov unemployment rate has been updated. December unemployment rate is preliminary.

In December 2020, the preliminary statewide unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 7.1 percent, matching the November 2020 unemployment rate. This is the first month since April that the unemployment rate did not decrease. Of the five Pennsylvania counties in the region, Chester County had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent in December 2020.  The unemployment rate for all five counties in the region decreased from November to December; Delaware County had the largest decrease from a rate of 6.4 percent to 6.1 percent.

Unemployment Percent Change

The chart below shows the unemployment rate percent change between January 2020 to December 2020 versus June 2020 to December 2020. In June 2020, both states started to ease COVID restrictions and as a result, unemployment rates started falling from their high points in March and April 2020.  Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery counties had the largest decreases in unemployment from June to December 2020. The City of Philadelphia remains the slowest part of the region to reverse the unemployment rate.

CountyJanuary to December 2020June to December 2020
Burlington61.5%-55.0%
Camden64.6%-52.4%
Gloucester52.2%-55.4%
Mercer53.8%-51.6%
Bucks20.5%-59.5%
Chester20.0%-59.2%
Delaware38.6%-56.4%
Montgomery30.8%-57.9%
Philadelphia55.0%-48.9%
NJ102.6%-54.2%
PA51.1%-46.2%
US91.4%-39.6%
Source: BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics (accessed on 3/09/2021) Note: Nov unemployment rate has been updated. December 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.

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