City of York, PA COVID-19 Response Report

Today, the City of York Department of Economic and Community Development releases a summary of their COVID-19 response from the beginning of the pandemic until today.

“Although we may never be able to fully quantify the thousands of hours of research, education, support, and resources that we have provided since the end of February 2020, I think it’s important to highlight the great work that has been done by the City of York,” said Philip Given, Acting Director of Economic and Community Development. “Since convening our first internal COVID-19 meeting on February 26th, our team has been working tirelessly to respond to this global health crisis, to keep our residents safe and in their homes, and to support our York City business owners. We thank all of our partners, both internal and external, as well as community members that have supported our efforts.”

City of York Mayor Michael Helfrich added, “The employees of the City of York, particularly our Bureau of Health employees, emergency planner, and fire chief continue to go above and beyond in their work to keep York City’s residents safe.”

“Smart planning, strong outreach, and a model contact tracing program have helped keep York at levels of infection and deaths far below those of other densely populated counties and cities in Pennsylvania,” he continued. “As with any war, once it begins you never know exactly when it will be over until the enemy surrenders. It is obvious this enemy is not surrendering yet, but I am confident that with the leadership and tenacity of York City’s team, York will continue to be a blueprint in how to defeat this disease.”

City of York COVID-19 Response/Incident Command

  • 466 COVID-19 case investigations completed (as of 7/5/2020).
  • 1,800+ calls made to identified positive COVID-19 patients and their contacts.
  • 28 outbreaks identified with connections to City residents testing positive.
  • 300+ inquiry calls fielded and follow-up information provided.
  • 180+ businesses visited to ensure they were complying with Governor Wolf’s initial stay-at-home and business closure orders.
  • Thousands of calls, messages, and social media posts and comments responded to requesting guidance for residents through the changing orders, guidelines, and assistance programs.
  • Provided guidance to employers, high-risk facilities, and educational institutions regarding confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • Coordinated an interdisciplinary COVID-19 response for the City of York including public health, emergency management, fire, public safety and other first responders, medical, healthcare, social service, and communication functions, and interfaced with incident command operations at the County of York, WellSpan Health, and UPMC.
  • Online permitting center launched for City of York Bureau of Permits, Planning and Zoning allowing residents and developers the opportunity to launch and complete permit applications digitally.

COVID-19 Public Information and Messaging

White Rose Community Television – 15 video spots produced in English and Spanish languages visible across social media channels and played over 5000 times on WRCT channels 16 and 18 across York and Adams counties.

WLCH Radio 100.3FM (Spanish-language station) – COVID-19 Public service message has run over 125 times on WLCH, which reaches approximately 15,000 people every 15 minutes.

Flyer Distribution – 1,700 print posters distributed to York City schools, health centers, senior centers, human service organizations and food distribution sites.

Postcard Mailer – Sent to 19,591 addresses (residential & business).

Business Resource Mailer – Sent to 1,588 business addresses.

Bus Shelter Ads – 10 placements reaching 265,425 per week (campaign runs 4 weeks).

Billboards – 4 digital; 7 print -Total reach of all billboards: over 391,000 per week (campaigns run 4 weeks).

Park/Trail Banners – 60 banners to be placed in City parks and recreational spaces to promote safe physical activity while preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Economic and Community Development

Partial funding provided by CDBG CARES Act (CDBG-CV)


$255,000 in Microbusiness Grants issued to 51 City resident-owned businesses, including:

  • 15 Barber Shops / Salons
  • 11 Food Service Establishments
  • 6 Creative Services
  • 6 Construction and Property Services

Demographics for Microbusiness Grant program:

  • Female – 30 (59%)
  • Male – 21 (41%)


  • Asian – 1 (2%)
  • Black or African American – 24 (47%)
  • White – 19 (37%)
  • Other – 7 (14%)
  • Hispanic/Latino – 7 (14%)
  • Not Hispanic/Latino – 44 (86%)


$210,000 – Bell Socialization Services’ Next Door Program to help over 100 families stay in their homes.

$60,000 – Crispus Attucks Association

$30,000 – Pending rental assistance agreements with partner organizations


Before and during the pandemic, City staff continues to work with onboarding applicants for Kiva loans as well.  Kiva provides zero interest loans funded by the community (including support from York County Community Foundation and PNC Bank) and matched by the City for small business owners. To date, Kiva York has provided $10,000 to one borrower and has four more applicants that are finalizing their loan applications.

City of York Bureau of Health

Resources & Healthy Food Access

Funding provided by CDC’s Public Health Crisis Response-Cooperative agreement, CDC’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (Safe and Healthy Communities Grant), and CDC’s Overdose Data to Action funding.


$6,180 – Shower assistance, public shower offerings for unsheltered individuals in cooperation with the YMCA of York County.

$500 – Portable toilets for unsheltered individuals, in cooperation with LifePath Christian Ministries.

$9,000 – Healthy meal delivery and sanitizing kits in cooperation with Mr. Sandy’s Homeless Veteran’s Center.

$3,680.97 – Hotel/Sheltering for unsheltered individuals awaiting COVID test results or COVID positive needing to isolate.

$5,000 – Spanish American Multicultural Resource Center to support COVID response efforts.


Supporting harm reduction/overdose prevention activities to address the opioid crisis and other substance abuse issues exacerbated by COVID-19.

$13,500 to support programs for youth in partnership with York City School District to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health.

Developing a substance abuse prevention/mental health awareness-raising campaign targeting youth, high-risk individuals who have experienced stress & trauma, people who use drugs, and those in recovery.


$21,500 to York County Food Bank to increase fresh food access for City residents.

$13,750 to implement a Farm-to-Pantry initiative to increase the availability of farm-fresh products at food distribution sites in partnership with York Fresh Food Farms, York County Food Bank, and numerous food pantries and community-based organizations.

$18,523 to support mobile produce market initiatives, community garden projects, and healthy corner store funding programs.

City of York Bureau of Health
Albert S. Weyer Health Center
435 W Philadelphia St.

Continued STD/HIV, Maternal & Child Health, Tuberculosis, Immunization and Lead Poisoning Prevention services in a full or modified capacity.

Continued to provide Maternal Child Health services through the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program to 368 high risk mothers and infants via, phone, text, email, and home visits when other support services typically available to the community were reduced or suspended.

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