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Nearly 20,000 FREE Washable, Reusable Face Masks to be Distributed Saturday in Wilmington

Mayor Purzycki and Council President Shabazz lead City government effort to keep residents, families, and neighborhoods safe during COVID-19 pandemic

Wilmington (DE): The City of Wilmington’s COVID-19 Working Group today announced details of a FREE face mask giveaway to be held at various locations in Wilmington this Saturday, May 23. The working group members include Mayor Mike Purzycki, Council President Hanifa Shabazz, Council Member Chris Johnson, President and CEO of the Latin American Community Center, Maria Matos, and the HOPE Commission’s In Reach Coordinator, Haneef Salaam.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki

Approximately 19,500 washable, reusable masks from multiple locally sourced mask makers (15,000 adult masks and 4,500 children’s masks) have been delivered this week for distribution on Saturday.

The City is focusing the mask giveaway effort on higher poverty neighborhoods where residents are less likely to be able to purchase a reusable mask as well as on the City’s elderly population. In addition, City Police Chief Robert J. Tracy said police officers will carry a limited supply of masks this weekend to distribute to adults and children as they patrol the City.

Beginning next week, the Wilmington Housing Authority will also distribute 5,000 masks to its residents to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“Until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus, a face mask is one of the most important defenses to stop the spread of the virus,” said Mayor Purzycki. “A mask coupled with social distancing can also help get the economy restarted and get people back to work. While giving away masks may seem trivial to some, in large areas of City neighborhoods one or more masks are needed for families to prevent sickness and death.”

“There is a heavy COVID-19 economic impact on some families, making it difficult for them to provide masks for all members of the household for an unknown period of time,” said Council President Shabazz. “Purchasing the masks from local vendors puts money into our local economy while helping family budgets that are already strained. Everyone needs to comply with Governor Carney’s declaration to wear face coverings while in public places.”

For Saturday’s Citywide distribution, neighborhood associations and resident volunteers in six of the eight Council Districts have worked with the City to determine a distribution system and the locations where residents can obtain a mask.

Here are the details:

1st District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wilmington PAL, 3707 N. Market Street; East Lake Park at 30th and Madison; North Market Street Library, 3400 N. Market Street; Wilmington Library at 10 East 10th Street; Speakman Park; Haines Park and Crestview Apartments, 2700 North Market Street. Contact: Subira Ibrahim at 302.762.0314 or iveyatwork@comcast.net

3rd District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Praying Ground Church at 41 East 22nd Street. Contact: City Council Member Zanthia Oliver at 302.519.5587

4th District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Herman Holloway Park and at Mt. Joy Church, B & Townsend Streets. Contact: Christine Kirklin at 302.494.4167

5th District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Frauline Trotter Park on Madison Street across the street from the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center and at 1224 West 4th Street. 1,000 masks were already distributed in this district on Thursday, May 21 during a food giveaway event sponsored by the Latin American Community Center. Contact: Cassandra Marshall, President, Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association at 302.593.2576

6th District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the intersection of Jackson Street and Elm Street (former site of the Jackson Street Boys and Girls Club) Contact: JJ Francis at 302.383.6579 or jjfrancis19@gmail.com

7th District:
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Unity Church at 2101 Lancaster Avenue. Contact: Ms. Dutch Hopkins at 302.656.8095 or dutchop@comcast.net or Adele Meehan at 302.319.1623

Distribution to the City’s Elderly Population in High-Rise Buildings:
Quaker Hill Place Apartments:
200 N. Washington Street

Windsor Apartments:
500 N. Walnut Street

The Antonian:
1701 W. 10th Street

Luther Towers I:
1201 N. Harrison Street

Luther Towers II:
1420 N. Franklin Street

The Devon:
2401 Pennsylvania Avenue

Photo | DHSS

In addition to the high-rise program for seniors, Haneef Salaam from the Wilmington HOPE Commission and a team of volunteers will take masks door-to-door for approximately 350 elderly citizens who are not able to leave their homes to obtain a mask.

Mayor Purzycki and Council President Shabazz today thanked residents for assisting with the mask distribution event and they also expressed their appreciation to the dedicated men and women working on various front lines of this pandemic for keeping individuals, families, and neighborhoods healthy and safe.

The Mayor and Council President today assured residents that the City will continue to push for more COVID-19 testing and commended the Wilmington COVID-19 Working Group as well as Christiana Care, St. Francis Healthcare, Westside Family Health Care, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Health System, the Latin American Community Center, and the Kingswood Community Center for their collaborative efforts to provide test sites in the City.

Upcoming one-day health assessment and test sites include:
• 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.
The permanent health assessment and test sites in Wilmington are:

• 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.

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