Philadelphia restaurants to get free COVID-19 testing for workers, families

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
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Restaurant workers and their families will soon have access to free COVID-19 testing.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Restaurant workers have been fighting for COVID-19 testing for themselves and their families since the pandemic started.

And now, the coalition Save Philly Restaurants has secured it.

More than 250 local restaurants are part of this group and say the testing is critical.

SEE ALSO: #SavePhillyEats: Website aims to help Philadelphia restaurants stay afloat

"It allows us to control a scare if we do have it and to get back to business," says Nicole Marquis, the founder of Save Philly Restaurants. "It gives us more information, it keeps our staff safe and customers safe. I think customers are going to feel really good knowing the entire staff has been tested weekly. I think all around this is a big win for the city."

The task force is meeting with Congress and Senator Pat Toomey this week and Philadelphia City Council and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley on Friday.

They're pushing for a few levels of relief.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia City Council passes bill to help restaurants stay afloat amid pandemic

"We need grants to continue to furnish outdoor seating and we really need to talk to the Streets Department to keep outdoor seating alive even throughout next year," Marquis says. "We definitely need the city's help to look at ways that we can operate our indoor dining rooms safely."

The free COVID testing for restaurant workers and their families begins January 7 at The Goat in Center City.

No health insurance is required and the testing is paid for by the CARES Act.