Squilla becomes first Philly councilmember to test positive for COVID-19

Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla

Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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Philadelphia Councilmember Mark Squilla has tested positive for COVID-19.

He made the announcement Thursday, saying he has mild symptoms and is quarantining at home. He isn’t sure how he came in contact with the virus.

“This virus and the infection are no joke,” he said in a statement. “I’ve been taking all the appropriate precautions … I urge my fellow Philadelphians – please wear a mask when you go outside if you must go out. Keep your social distance of at least six feet apart if you do go outdoors.”

Squilla, who represents the city’s first district in South Philadelphia, Center City and parts of the river wards, is the first member of Philadelphia City Council to test positive for COVID-19.

Some of his fellow councilmembers posted well-wishes after he announced his diagnosis.

“Mark is our friend and our colleague, and we care deeply about him,” Council President Darrell Clarke said. “Rest, get the appropriate treatment and care, and return to us soon, Councilmember. Our city cares about you.”

Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson tweeted that her thoughts and prayers are with Squilla and his family.

“I wish him a speedy recovery,” she said.

Squilla’s office noted that his positive test comes as COVID-19 cases surge across the country and hospitalizations for the virus increase sharply.

Also this week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced he had tested positive for the virus, though he so far remains asymptomatic.

The governor is quarantining at home with his wife, Francis Wolf, who has tested negative.

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