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COVID-19 in Wilmington: Week in Review

Post Date:05/22/2020 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 information about tomorrow’s FREE mask distribution throughout the City, the “Illuminate Delaware” initiative over the Memorial Holiday weekend, the iChoose Campaign, Governor Carney’s announcement of additional steps for certain businesses to begin expanding operations, ongoing COVID-19 testing in and around Wilmington, and the 2nd Facebook Live Virtual Town Hall meeting held on May 19.

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 78 have tested negative for the virus. There are still 75 other employees who have no symptoms and have not been tested but are in self-isolation or self-monitoring. 160 employees affected by COVID-19 have returned to work.

FREE Face Mask Distribution Scheduled for Saturday, May 23
Wilmington’s COVID-19 Working Group, representing the Mayor and City Council as well as the community, plans to distribute 20,000 FREE reusable, washable face masks to lower-income City residents beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 23, at various locations around the City. 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 our neighborhoods. For details about when and where you can obtain a FREE mask, follow this link:

COVID-19 Testing Continues in Wilmington
The Wilmington Community COVID-19 Mobilization Group (C19MG), in conjunction with City and State governments, the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, the Latin American and Kingswood community centers, as well as Christiana Care, St. Francis Healthcare, Westside Family Health Care, and Nemours Children’s Health System, continues to sponsor permanent and one-time health assessment and test sites. Mayor Purzycki this week thanked all of the brave, dedicated men and women working on the front lines of this pandemic for their help in keeping individuals, families, and neighborhoods healthy and safe during this time of crisis.
Upcoming one-time health assessment and test sites:

  • Tuesday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, located at 601 New Castle Avenue in Southbridge. This is a walk-up event. 
  • Thursday, May 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Claymont Community Center, located at 3301 Green Street in Claymont, DE. This is a drive-up only event.  

Permanent health assessment and test sites, staffed by Christiana Care:

  • The Latin American Community Center’s MOB Building (3rd and Harrison streets) on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • The Kingswood Community Center (2300 Bowers Street) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Governor Announces Additional Steps for Retail, Restaurant Businesses to Expand Operations
On Tuesday, May 19, Governor Carney announced additional steps allowing retail businesses and restaurants to expand operations while maintaining social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under the interim steps, all retail establishments in Delaware may now operate by appointment only. Restaurants, bars, taprooms, and craft breweries may also apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to safely serve additional customers when the businesses reopen next month. Delaware retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity during Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening, beginning June 1. The added steps will give retailers and restaurants additional new ways to safely expand their operations by appointment and outdoors. Retail establishments covered by the announcement – including but not limited to clothing and shoe stores, used merchandise retailers and florists – may accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing and cleaning guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more details about the Governor’s announcement, visit this link:

Mayor Announces “Illuminate Delaware” for Holiday Weekend to Honor Essential Frontline Workers, Fallen U.S. Soldiers
Mayor Mike Purzycki and lifelong City resident John DiEleuterio invite City residents and businesses to “Light it Blue” this holiday weekend as part of "Illuminate Delaware," a four-day event sponsored by locally based Main Light Industries, one of the largest rental companies in the U.S. for lighting, special effects, and video. Several of Wilmington’s iconic landmarks – including The Grand Opera House, the 76ers Fieldhouse, the Waterworks Building on the Brandywine, St. Anthony’s Church, the 1201 Market Street Building, and the law offices of Young Conway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, across from Rodney Square – will be lighted for residents to enjoy. Participating locations will be lit up in blue between dusk and dawn on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, then in patriotic red, white, and blue in honor of U.S. Armed Forces personnel on Monday. The initiative is being coordinated by Main Light’s DiEleuterio as a tribute to both essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as fallen U.S. military personnel. Click here for more information.

Facebook Live Virtual Town Hall Addresses Community Needs During COVID-19 Pandemic
Mayor Mike Purzycki again joined City Council President Hanifa Shabazz; Council Member Chris Johnson; Maria Matos, Member, Wilmington COVID-19 Community Mobilization Group and President and CEO of the Latin American Community Center; Terri Lawler, Education Associate, Delaware Department of Education; Mariann Kenville-Moore, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence on Tuesday, May 19th for the second Facebook Live Virtual Town Hall to exchange information and ideas as well as answer questions from community members about the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The live-streamed event was an initiative of the Wilmington COVID-19 Community Mobilization Group (C19CMG), a consortium of more than 20 community-based organizations together with City government under the leadership of the Wilmington Community Advisory Committee (WCAC). You can view the 70-minute long discussion here:

Mayor Purzycki Supports the Ichoose Campaign
Mayor Purzycki has joined the Wilmington Community Advisory Council and the COVID-19 Community Mobilization Group to support the Ichoose Campaign. The Ichoose Campaign puts an emphasis on the power of choice. The campaign urges residents to choose to remain informed and to protect themselves and those around them by wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distancing, staying home as much as possible, washing hands, and so on. Use the #Ichoose hashtag to show that you are choosing to stay safe and healthy, therefore choosing to keep others safe and healthy, too. Click here to view a message from Celebrity Youth Reporter Miss Tiana Sirmans.

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

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:


Ichoose English 1

Ichoose Spanish 2

COVID symptoms

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kingswood flyer




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

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