Thursday, September 23, 2021
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District of Columbia Ends Public Health Emergency


DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Saturday the end of the city’s public health emergency order that has been in effect since March 2020.

Bowser also updated and extended the District’s public emergency as part of the same order.

“On March 11, 2020, just days after confirming the first case of COVID-19 in DC, we declared both a Public Health Emergency and a Public Emergency,” Bowser said in a release. “Since those earliest days of the pandemic, our residents and businesses have continuously stepped up and sacrificed to protect the health and well-being of our community.”

“When we asked residents to stay home, they did,” she continued. “When we set up a public testing system that was second to none and asked people to get tested, they did. When we continued to update our mask guidance according the latest science, our community followed along and masked up. Most recently, hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians have rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated, both to protect their own health and to help us crush this virus.”

The mayor expressed her gratitude for the public’s efforts that helped DC reopen and start recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Moving forward, while we will no longer operate under a Public Health Emergency, we will continue to keep in place a Public Emergency. In doing so, the District can stay nimble in our response to the virus and we retain the ability to implement or dial up and down critical measures to protect the health of our community,” Bowser added, urging everyone who are currently unvaccinated to receive their shot as soon as possible.

With the extension of the public emergency, DC will be able to continue to:

  • Receive federal reimbursement, as well as federal relief and recovery grants
  • Make personnel changes necessary to respond to the emergency
  • Alter government services – e.g., make changes to how services are provided to residents
  • Implement preventive measures for people who are medically vulnerable or experiencing homelessness
  • Establish/extend emergency grant authority for DMPED
  • Provide incentives to comply with public health recommendations
  • Establish mask requirements
  • Establish vaccination requirements

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