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COVID-19 in Wilmington: Week in Review

Post Date:05/15/2020 4:00 PM

A weekly roundup of City government news related to the coronavirus

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki presented his weekly summary today of news for residents and businesses regarding efforts to manage the evolving COVID-19 crisis. Today’s news includes details of the State’s phased re-opening of the economy, new COVID-19 test sites in Wilmington, a Latin American Community Center-sponsored food giveaway next week, the City’s daily meal distribution program, and food assistance provided this week to pet owners.

City Services
The City continues to provide essential services largely without interruption as most of the men and women of City government are either working on-site or from home to keep the government functioning as efficiently as possible in the current environment. Mayor Purzycki continues to express his thanks to City employees for their efforts during this difficult period. Ticketing, booting and towing services are suspended as is the requirement that residents move their vehicles for street cleaning. Special trash pick-ups are also suspended, and yard waste collection has been moved to Wednesdays only until further notice.

City Employees Affected by COVID-19
Since March, 186 employees have been affected by the coronavirus. Just 15 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, while 74 have tested negative and four others who are presumed positive and in self-isolation because they have been tested but do not yet have their results. There are still 76 other employees who have no symptoms and have not been tested but are in self-isolation or self-monitoring. 149 employees affected by COVID-19 have returned to work.

Face Mask Distribution Scheduled for Next Week
Wilmington’s Government Working Group, representing the Mayor and City Council as well as the community, has ordered 20,000 reusable, washable face masks that will be distributed FREE to lower-income City residents beginning next weekend. In line with the advocacy of the Community COVID-19 Mobilization Group, the government group wants to keep residents safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in neighborhoods. Because some residents cannot afford reusable masks, the groups are eager to get the nose and mouth coverings into the community as soon as possible. Details of the mask distribution program will be announced early next week when multiple orders of masks begin to arrive in the City.

Upcoming COVID-19 Test Sites in Wilmington
The Wilmington Community COVID-19 Mobilization Group (C19MG), in conjunction with City and State governments, as well as Christiana Care, St. Francis Healthcare and Nemours Health System, is presenting permanent and one-time health assessment and test sites. The locations, dates, and times for the newest sites are:

  • Wednesday, May 20, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Judy Johnson Park, located on North DuPont Street and West 3rd Street. This is a walk-up event. 
  • Wednesday, May 20, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Casimir Pulaski School, located at 1300 Cedar Street. This is a walk-up event and is limited to residents who live in the area of Browntown/Hedgeville, Bayard Square, and Canby Park.
  • Tuesday, May 26, at the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, located at 601 New Castle Avenue in Southbridge. The time for this event will be announced next week. This is a walk-up event. 

The above sites are in addition to two permanent COVID-19 health assessment and test sites staffed by Christiana Care at the Latin American Community Center’s MOB Building (3rd and Harrison streets) on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at the Kingswood Community Center (2300 Bowers Street) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The LACC and La ZMX Radio 93.9 FM to Host Food Drive
The City of Wilmington is pleased to support the Latin American Community Center and La ZMX Radio 93.9 FM as they sponsor a food drive on Thursday, May 21 beginning at 12 p.m. and continuing while supplies last. The FREE drive-through event will take place on Carpenter Street, just off Van Buren Street near 4th Street. Face masks will also be given out at this event. For questions, please contact the LACC at 302.655.7338 or La ZMX Radio at 302.655.2721. Please share the flyers (English and Spanish) that are included with this release.

State Assistance for Medical and Social Service Needs

If you have a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, please call 211 or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. 211 is a free, confidential resource that connects people with resources and support regarding COVID-19 and other challenges. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Questions can also be submitted by email to

Governor Releases Details of the First Phase of the State’s Re-Opening
Governor John Carney last week released guidance for Phase 1 of Delaware’s rolling reopening. The plan provides general and sector-specific guidance for Delawareans and Delaware businesses. Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin on June 1. Click here for full Phase 1 guidance. As the State enters Phase I, Delawareans must still wear face coverings in public settings. Delawareans and Delaware businesses also must adhere to strict social distancing requirements and follow basic hygiene practices, including frequent hand washing.

City Delivers 200,000th Meal this Week
The City's special COVID-19 citywide meal distribution system, which began March 17th, delivered its 200,000th meal this week. Mayor Purzycki and Parks Director Kevin Kelley credited the Parks Department’s food service and delivery staff along with community volunteers for conducting this important program at a time of uncertainty for many families. The vital program continues to distribute about 5,000 meals daily – mostly breakfast and lunch – at more than two dozen sites around the City. Through this program, City youths 17 and under can receive a combined breakfast and lunch meal, and in some cases a dinner, at so-called “grab and go” meal sites around Wilmington in addition to the regular after-school food sites.

City, Brandywine Valley SPCA Bring Drive-Thru Pet Food Pantry Event to Frawley Stadium
The City of Wilmington teamed up with the Brandywine Valley SPCA for a FREE drive-thru pantry event on May 14 at Frawley StadiumA total of 230 families received dog and cat food at the event, which was made possible with the generous assistance of Downingtown, Pa.-based Terra Technical Services. “This is a difficult time for everyone, and our pets shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Mayor Purzycki, who also thanked the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Riverfront Development Corporation for their cooperation in organizing the event.

Wilmington’s COVID-19 Web Page
Visit the City of Wilmington COVID 19 web page here for information from the City, state, and federal governments regarding health, housing, benefits for businesses and non-profits, unemployment, and education. You can access important telephone numbers and websites and keep up with the latest news about the coronavirus. The site also includes information about conducting business with the City and accessing essential City services as well as which services and programs are suspended indefinitely.

Finally, PLEASE share the following information about COVID-19 assessment sites in Wilmington with your friends and family. COVID-19 is here NOW and you MUST take steps to stop the spread of the virus:


 lacc english

  lacc spanish

kingswood flyer

 lacc food drive eng

lacc food drive esp

Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home - English

Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home - Spanish

Food Bank DE Mobile Pantry

 Reopening process




John Rago
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Communications
Mobile: (302) 420-7928

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