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Posted on: March 5, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What to know, business closures and community updates

coronavirus

As of April 8, county and state health departments are reporting 1,359 Coronavirus cases originating from municipalities in Montgomery County (including 18 deaths from the virus), with 37 cases and two deaths in Norristown. Please refer to the CDC’s website for daily updates about the virus as it pertains to symptoms, treatment and travel information. All of this can be found on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/20… 

For information at the state/local level, the PA Department of Health can be accessed here: https://www.health.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx 

It is important to take proactive steps to protect yourself by simple means like washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, covering your cough/sneeze, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and staying home if you are not feeling well. 

En español aquí: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html

Testing:

A Montgomery County drive-thru COVID-19 testing site has been operating at Temple University’s Ambler Campus. This is by appointment/registration only. Full details of the testing site and a link to register for testing will be found here: www.montcopa.org/COVID-19

Resources:

Do you work in a life-sustaining business? Check out this list (updated March 31) from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office detailing over 100 hundred types of businesses and jobs that have been deemed life sustaining. You can file a waiver with the state to keep your business’s physical location open here: https://expressforms.pa.gov/apps/pa/DCED/Waiver-process-keeping-physical-locations-open

What about unemployment? Please see the state’s Unemployment Compensation website about filing a claim and if you qualify to do so: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/UC-COVID19-FAQs.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3WYHIu7Ueez4CMVywhCGFN7zZzg_R8NfRpd-51s9UgYiK8YHdOQo6VJNU 

Montgomery County has established communication tools to answer your questions about COVID-19. You can call 610-631-3000 (from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or email COVID19@montcopa.org. Go to http://www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 for local information and to see what communities are affected. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is tracking the outbreak throughout the state and can be viewed here. The department can be reached at 1-800-724-3258.

COMMUNITY UPDATES!

A disaster declaration for the Municipality of Norristown was issued on March 16 and will be in effect until April 16. This is a proactive action being taken so the municipality can get access to the resources and tools it needs to keep residents safe.

MUNICIPAL HALL:

Municipal Hall will be closed to visitors starting March 18. Regular municipal business will continue.  We have produced a quick reference booklet announcing our shift in operations with the public.

MUNICIPAL DEPARTMENTS/SERVICES:

NORRISTOWN POLICE 

Police will be temporarily scaling back parking enforcement operations in our neighborhoods to accommodate the additional number of people who will be home. Street cleaning parking enforcement has been suspended. Window operations at the police department remain open, but the filing of police reports is being limited to phone calls only. If you need to file a report call 610-275-1222. The Norristown Police Department is asking the public to call 610-270-0977 then press 0 if they need non-emergency assistance. If coming to the police station entrance at the back of Municipal Hall please use the intercom at the door.

CODE ENFORCEMENT

Effective immediately, the following activities have been suspended for a period of at least 30 days, this may be extended if needed: Rental Inspections; property transfer inspections; non-emergency housing complaints; and scheduled non-emergency inspections with the fire department. Please call 610-270-0441 or email codes@norristown.org if you have any questions.

FINANCE/TAXES

NOTICE: The discount period to pay your municipal real estate taxes will be extended to May 31. As of March 18, payment of bills or tickets will not be done at the finance office. Payment should be made with a cashier’s check, money order or personal check and dropped off at the mail slot at the front of the Municipal Hall entrance during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Cash will not be accepted! Payments can be processed over the phone. Call 610-270-0426 if you have any questions.

Business Privilege Taxes: The deadline to file 2019 final/2020 estimated Business Privilege Tax return and payment has been extended to July 15. The extension does not apply to delinquent taxes.

PLANNING DEPARTMENT

All zoning, subdivision and grant program activities that require one-on-one contact with the public will be conducted through the Planning Department window at Municipal Hall. Small business consultation services shall be done by phone interviews until further notice. Small business seminars are suspended until further notice.  Please call 610-270-0451 if you have any questions.

PUBLIC WORKS

Street sweeping has been suspended. Any in-person meetings have been canceled in lieu of phone calls.

RECREATION

Activities scheduled by the recreation department and/or hosted at the Norristown Recreation Center are suspended until further notice. Consistent with the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order on March 23, all municipal parks will be closed in order to practice social distancing. The Norristown Recreation Center is also closed.

TRASH/RECYCLING

Weekly trash and recycling collections will continue.

SEPTA

Service has been affected throughout the SEPTA system. More information at http://septa.org/ 

MUNICIPAL EVENT CANCELLATIONS:

Out of precaution, the following events have been canceled.

Norristown Police Department: The department has canceled all of their current and upcoming community events (TAPS at the high school, the citizens police academy) until further notice. 

Keep Norristown Beautiful: Involvement in the Great American Cleanup has been postponed until at least May 1.

Town Hall, Justice & Mercy: Criminal Justice in Norristown, April 13.


SCHOOLS AND RECREATION

Norristown Area School District

All NASD schools will be closed indefinitely. Please visit nasd.k12.pa.us for updates on homebound instruction.

Elmwood Park Zoo

Closed.

Montgomery County- Norristown Public Library

Closed. Late fines will not be charged at this time. Some virtual resources are available to cardholders at www.mc-npl.org. All programs are canceled through May 4.


UTILITIES

PAW restores water service to customers

Pennsylvania American Water announced that it is putting a moratorium on service shut offs and reinstating service to previously shut-off customers. More information can be found at amwater.com.

PECO

PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020. In addition, PECO will continue to remind customers of existing bill assistance resources and energy assistance programs to support them through temporary or extended financial hardship. Go here for more information: PECO expands customer assistance programs

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