Every-other-week recycling schedule extended

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SEPTA returned to a mostly normal schedule Sunday, but recycling pick-up has not and won’t, at least through late June, officials said.

The Streets Department began collecting recycling every other week in early April and initially said the change would be until at least May 15. Now, it’s been pushed back to June 26, according to the city.

“Residents should expect some delays on weeks when recycling collections are scheduled as the health crisis continues to have an impact on employee attendance,” the department said in a statement.

Recycling will not be picked up this week.

SEPTA, meanwhile, is now running buses, trolleys and subways on a mostly normal schedule after making heavy service reductions. Regional Rail lines continue to operate on a significantly limited schedule.

Leslie Richards, the agency’s general manager, said Friday that people should still not use public transportation for nonessential purposes. She also warned of possible disruptions due to the impact the novel coronavirus has had on SEPTA’s workforce.

More than 270 SEPTA employees have tested positive for the virus, and seven have died of COVID-19-related complications. Others have been forced to quarantine at home.

In Philadelphia, 19,606 people have been infected with the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic as of Saturday, and there have been 1,031 deaths.

The city is no longer providing the number of new cases and fatalities on Sundays. Officials said the change was made due to the sporadic nature of results received over the weekend.

State leaders on Sunday reported 623 new cases and 15 new deaths, bringing Pennsylvania’s toll to 4,418.

On Friday, 13 additional counties moved into the first phase of the state’s reopening plan, and Gov. Tom Wolf announced that a dozen more will transition to “yellow” this Friday.

“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Health Secretary Rachel Levine said in a statement Sunday.

A new website was recently launched by the city with a map showing all of the COVID-19 testing sites in Philadelphia, along with information about how to make an appointment. Those interested can filter locations based on day and whether the sites offer drive-thru or walk-in tests.

Most sites require people to call ahead to set up a time, and the online portal shows contact information. All are free. Go to www.phila.gov/testing.

Parents with children in the School District of Philadelphia may be eligible to receive $365 to offset the cost of meals that would normally be provided at schools.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is for students who get free or reduced lunches. Parents will receive a card in the mail, one per child, or have the amount added to their account if they already have an EBT card.

Parents must make sure the district has their correct address on file because cards will be shipped to their homes. To change or check the address, go to www.philasd.org.

If the address is correct, families do not need to take further action. The P-EBT program is a supplement to the grab-and-go student meal sites.

In other coronavirus-related news, jury duty, along with civil and criminal jury trials, in Philadelphia courts has been suspended through Sept. 8.

All other in-person hearings and trials are postponed until at least July 6, according to an order issued Friday by judicial leadership. In addition, no foreclosure cases can be filed and no evictions can be ordered until July 10.

A spokesperson for PECO said the electric company will continue waiving late fees and not shutting off service through July 1.

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