The public can attend Wilmington meetings in person again starting Monday, and all COVID-related service and program suspensions will end Monday, July 26.
City buildings will remain closed to the public, except for public meetings or appointments. Lobby services, as they have been for months, are still available.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki on Monday, July 19, rescinded his City-wide State of Emergency Executive Order that has been in place since March 2020 to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purzycki said most meetings are expected to offer a virtual attendance option for people who are uncomfortable with live meetings.
The state’s largest city lifted its restrictions a week after Gov. John Carney allowed his emergency order to expire as vaccinations rise. On Monday afternoon. the state said 71.4% of those eligible for vaccines have had at least one shot, and 54.1% of the state population is fully vaccinated.
The changes also come as the more infectious Delta strain of the virus is beginning to circulate widely and has become the dominant strain in many states, including Delaware. While Delaware’s COVID-19 stats have been rising slightly, they have not risen as high or as steeply as many other states where large parts of the population are not vaccinated.
The city remains concerned about the possibility that the Delta variant could begin to circulate and cause a spike in infections, said John Rago, Pryzycki’s deputy chief of staff.
“But we also need to take reasonable steps to get government operations back to something resembling normal,” Rago said. “This is still a huge learning process for all of us. The pandemic has not been defeated. More people need to get vaccinated or recovery from COVID will be much harder to achieve. Hopefully, common sense will prevail.”
On Monday, July 26, Wilmington will begin:
- Ticketing, booting and towing of vehicles for traffic and parking violations and for delinquent fines and fees;
- Neighborhood street cleaning, which will require residents to move their vehicles to accommodate the street cleaning equipment;
- One- and two-hour neighborhood parking restrictions, meaning residents MUST be current on their neighborhood parking stickers;
- Water utility service disconnections for delinquencies, which in many cases can be avoided if residents and businesses make a payment arrangement with the City;
- Sheriff sales,
Public programming resumed July 1 at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center on Madison Street.
A city press release said the city will keep its satellite departmental offices open in the lobby of the Redding Government Building on French Street, as it has done for most of the past year, so the public can obtain forms, make payments or meet with a City official through appointment.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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