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Berks County COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resource Hub

Mar 16, 2020
BCTV is committed to providing community information access while our area responds to the developing COVID-19 situation. We are striving to provide a reliable local resource for citizens. We hope that this page is helpful to you, and provides the guidance you need while making decisions during this uncertain time.

All information is subject to change. Be Informed, and please Be Well!

If you have information that you feel should be included on this page, please email [email protected].

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Citizen Resources

Coronavirus.gov – Latest guidelines, government updates, and safety information.

Centers for Disease Control – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the leading national public health institute of the United States.

World Health Organization – How to use masks, myth busters, healthy parenting, and workplace readiness

Pennsylvania Department of Health – Information and updates regarding coronavirus, specific to Pennsylvania including county by county case numbers.

Berks County Department of Emergency Services – Important news and updates for Berks County.

“Do Your Part Berks” Website – A list of safety recommendations and guidelines for active businesses, compliance posters in both English and Spanish for businesses, and posters for citizens,

Berks Launches COVID19 Help Center – The purpose of the call center is to provide the public with resources to address a variety of issues that may arise as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID19 Health Emergency.

Greater Reading Chamber Alliance – Resource Center for Berks County Businesses and Industry

Unemployment ResourcesDue to the high volume calls and UC Live Chat requests, PA has now assisting through email as well: [email protected] If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease, you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits.

IRS Relief Check Info

Consumer Tool to Combat Coronavirus Price Gouging

Penn State and PA Agencies have prepared a COVID-19 Preparedness Tool Kit for the community.  This Tool Kit is available in English and Spanish.

COVID-19 Tool Kit – English

COVID-19 Tool Kit – Spanish

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Gov. Wolf Unveils Plan for Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Recovery

Treasury, IRS unveil online help with Economic Impact Payments

Secretary of Health Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

From Berks County Commissioners: It’s Time to Focus on Health & Safety vs Closing Businesses “Do Your Part – Stop the Spread”

Gov. Wolf Calls for Universal Masking

Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Extended Until May 8

PA Implementing New Unemployment Benefits, Eligible Claimants Get Extra $600

PA Department of Corrections to Establish Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences

Governor Wolf Extends School Closure for Remainder of Academic Year

Health Sec. Signs Order Providing Building Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

Urging Manufacturers to Report Critical Supply Capabilities, Needs

Pennsylvania is Reinforcing the Health Care System to Fight COVID-19

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, Registrations and Other Products

Temporary Essential Jobs Available in Berks County

Tower Health Adds New COVID-19 Assessment Site in Reading

Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments

UPDATED WITH LINK TO REVISED BUSINESS CLOSURE LIST: All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses in Pennsylvania to Close Physical Locations as of 8pm Thursday, March 19 to Slow Spread of COVID-19 

Penn State Health St. Joseph Opens Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Location

Secretary of State Reminds Voters of New Mail-in Voting Options Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Mayor Eddie Moran and Reading Parking Authority Announce Changes Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019

These Berks County schools are providing lunches to students during coronavirus shutdown (Reading Eagle)

Reading Area Water Authority – Offering free potable water to customers that would like to fill containers for drinking purposes or any other customer need. Beginning Monday March 16, 2020 at 8:00 am through 8:00 pm, the RAWA portable Water Buffalo will be available to residents wishing to fill containers with clean, safe drinking water.   The Water Buffalo will be available 7 days a week until further notice. Location:   1801 Kutztown Rd, Reading PA  19604 Questions can be answered from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. 610-406-6300

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Video: County of Berks COVID-19 Update 4/30/20

Video: County of Berks COVID-19 Update (SPANISH) 4/30/20

 VIDEO: Berks County COVID-19 Press Conference 4-16-20 Berks County Businesses & Residents Must Do More – Berks COVID-19 Cases & Deaths Continue to R ise– The Berks County Commissioners Press Conference to present new COVID-19 modeling that indicates Berks County businesses and residents need to do much more to help Stop the Spread.

VIDEO: The Berks County Commissioners announce the “Do Your Part-Stop the Spread” campaign to help control the spread of COVID-19. 4-13-20

VIDEO: Berks COVID-19 Phase 2 Plan for County Government 4-1-20

VIDEO: City of Reading COVID-19 Press Conference 3/20/20

VIDEO: Berks County Commissioners’ Meeting 03-19-20

VIDEO: COVID-19 Press Conference & Reading City Council Emergency Meeting 3-16-20

VIDEO: Tips to Help Prevent the Spread of Infectious Disease (ENGLISH)

VIDEO: Tips to Help Prevent the Spread of Infectious Disease (SPANISH)

VIDEO: Berks County Commissioners’ Meeting 03-12-20

VIDEO: Berks County COVID-19 Press Conference 3/13/20

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Berks Community Information

As schedule updates and closures are changing daily, please check directly with organizations, companies, or hosts for changes to events, business hours, and access to services.

Voters have the option to vote by mail-in ballot rather than going to their polling place on election day. Mail-in ballot applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26, 2020. If a voter has already applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot, they do NOT need to reapply. Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 422, which reschedules PA’s primary election from April 28 to June 2 due to the COVID-19 emergency.

All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses in Pennsylvania to Close Physical Locations as of 8pm Thursday, March 19 to Slow Spread of COVID-19  A list of businesses and whether or not they may continue physical operations is here.

Tower Health – Information on COVID-19: Implements Heightened Visitation Restrictions.

Penn State Health St. Joseph – Information on COVID-19 and visitor restrictions.

BARTABarta requiring all customers and employees wear masks when riding Barta service

  • BARTA Mechanic Tests Positive for COVID-19 – Starting, Friday, April 10, 2020, Reading Police will be stationed at the BTC to enforce the “Stay at Home Order”, asking the public to only ride BARTA for essential trips.
  • BARTA will begin operating Saturday Schedule starting Monday, March 30 Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, BARTA will implement a “Rear Door Entry Policy” for all bus routes. If anyone does need assistance and needs to use the front door they will be allowed.  Please ask the driver to activate the kneeler.
  • Also, on March 23, 2020, BARTA Bus Service will not collect fares on any of the bus routes. Free Fares for all bus routes will begin Monday, March 23rd and continue until further notice.
  • Following the closure of East Penn Manufacturing, the BARTA Route 22/Lyon Station/East Penn-Deka will not operate after 3 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020.

Berks Encore – Berks Encore Senior Community Centers are closed for senior activities including bingo, cards, crafts, exercise, and lunch. Take out lunch will be provided between 10 am – 12 noon if it was ordered.

Berks County Parks – Berks County parks remain open but events within them are canceled.

Centro Hispano – Centro Hispano Daniel Torres’ Large Events, Senior Center and Community Programs Planned Will be Postponed, Cancelled, or Closed to  Protect Public Health.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic SiteVisitor Center and all publicly accessible buildings are closed until further notice. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, the trails will be available Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Updates for National Parks Service operations available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Reading Downtown Improvement District (RDID) – Will close its public office on 3/17 until further notice. Ambassador Duties will continue as scheduled. For Ambassador Services, please contact: 484-955-0315.

Reading Fightin’ Phils – Minor League Baseball announced a delay to the start of the 2020 Eastern League season.

Reading Royals – Suspended the 2019-20 Season for the safety of Fans, Players, and Employees.

Reading Public Library  & Berks County Libraries – Locations will be closed for in-person service. All Berks County Public Libraries will implement automatic renewals for eligible library materials beginning March 16, 2020. Digital materials are still available. 

Safe Berks – For victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who are seeking our free crisis services, we ask you to call our 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233) or text SAFE BERKS to 20121. All Counseling Support Groups are postponed at this time, but free individual counseling is still available.

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