2020 has changed everything, including how we celebrate the holidays. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley has strongly recommended that Philadelphians stay home this holiday season. This is the best way to keep people from catching or spreading COVID-19. Folks who have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others in their household, and people who have been exposed should quarantine themselves from others in their household.

Not everyone can safely quarantine or isolate at home, though, so the Health Department has set up a site where people who need a safe place to stay away from others can do so: the COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Site. The people who go to this site are following the rules and keeping others safe.

Now imagine being stuck in an Isolation and Quarantine Site over Christmas. Not a great end to a rough year. So the Health Department has worked to put together age-appropriate gift bags, filled with a variety of toys, books, games, candy, hot cocoa, hats, and coats, generously donated by partners like the Elliott-Lewis Corporation.

Assorted winter clothes and toys that were donated to residents of the Health Department's Isolation and Quarantine Site

“Elliott-Lewis understands the importance of giving back to our community during these unprecedented times and hopes to add some joy to this holiday season,” says Jose Ramos, Director, Elliott-Lewis. “We are thankful for our partnership with the City of Philadelphia and look forward to continually supporting these initiatives.”

Staff at the site have been working to make this holiday about more than just a gift bag left in a hotel hallway. Meals this week have been specially chosen with the holidays in mind: residents have been served typical Korean, Mexican, Italian, and Jamaican foods. In addition, staff have been baking home-made cookies to distribute to the residents.

Dr. Lynnette Crews, Isolation and Quarantine Social worker. “It’s important for everyone to try and do whatever they can to make someone out there feel wanted, feel special, even if it’s just a hello. It’s the simple things that you don’t even think of that mean so much to someone.”

Making sure that the residents at the Isolation and Quarantine Site feel taken care of doesn’t end with the holidays, though. The Health Department is currently accepting donations to help support guests during their stay at the site. Join us in sharing kindness and care by providing the necessities for our guests.

Amazon Wish List for donations for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Isolation and Quarantine Site