COVID-19 in Pa.: Philly official calls for delay of April 28 primary election

City officials from left City Commissioner Lisa Deeley,Micheal Innocenzo, President and CEO of PECO, Craig White, President and CEO Philadelphia Gas Works,PGW and Randy E. Hayman, Commissioner Philadelphia Water Department, Wednesday at City Hall press conference to info Philadelphia citizens of help each provides during the COVID-19 outbreak (Photo via The Philadelphia Tribune)

By Michael D’Onofrio

PHILADELPHIA –– Mayor Jim Kenney administration will provide updates at its daily briefing at 1 p.m. about the city’s response to the coronavirus.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 34 on Wednesday, up 16 from the previous day. The pandemic has entered a “rapid growth phase” in Philadelphia, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said yesterday.

Primary election

City Commissioner Chairwoman Lisa Deeley said she strongly believed Gov. Tom Wolf should delay the April 28 primary election until “late May or preferably sometime in June” during the Kenney administration briefing on Wednesday.

She called on Wolf to form a working group of county elections officials to determine the “best way to hold an election that balances public health with voter access.”

Deeley said election officials have already canceled poll worker training through March 29, but they are prepared to call back employees to put on the April primary if necessary.

Election officials were developing different scenarios to hold an in-person election, which included printing more mail-in-ballot materials to meet demand.

Pa’s April 28 primary date could be moved Wolf says, as counties brace for possible changes

Other primary elections have been postponed across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic, including in Ohio this week.

City and SDP continue to provide free meals for students

The city and school district continue to provide free meals for children 18 and younger.

The meals are available between 9 a.m. and noon at 30 locations in the city.

A full list of where students and parents can get the meals can be found by visiting https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-14-find-free-meals-and-safe-spaces-for-students-while-schools-are-closed/

Safe spaces for children

Fifty recreation centers will remain open between 2 and 6 p.m. to provide a safe space for children while schools are closed.

Meals will be provided for children 18 and younger at 3 p.m.

For a full listing of the open recreation centers, visit https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-16-50-recreation-centers-and-six-older-adult-centers-to-remain-open/

Michael D’Onofrio is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.