COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. This disease was first discovered at the end of 2019 and has since claimed millions of lives worldwide, leaving many without work and severely straining public health systems.
Here in the District of Columbia, the effects of the pandemic have been very deeply felt. In the spring, government agencies, colleges and universities, and other public and private organizations closed their doors. This encouraged individuals to shelter in place and prevent further spread of this easily transmittable disease, but gravely impacted our local economy.
To keep residents and businesses afloat, the Council of the District of Columbia worked closely with the Executive to pass a series of emergency relief legislation and coordinate other related efforts.
To learn more about the types of relief available - be it for tenants, senior citizens, unemployed workers, or small businesses - visit the official District government COVID-19 relief website at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ or visit one of the quick links above.
As of Wednesday, April 28, the District of Columbia will close the COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration portal found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov and transition to providing the vaccine at eleven mass vaccination sites, which will be operable beginning May 1, and through partnerships with various healthcare clinics and providers.
While all residents age 16 and over are eligible to book a vaccination appointment, the following populations will be prioritized in the District of Columbia:
Individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 who have qualifying medical conditions are also eligible to receive a vaccination appointment.
Qualifying Medical Conditions Include: Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and other Chronic Lung Disease; Bone Marrow and Solid Organ Transplantation; Cancer; Cerebrovascular Disease; Chronic Kidney Disease; Congenital Heart Disease; Diabetes Mellitus; Heart Conditions, such as Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, or Cardiomyopathies; HIV; Hypertension (High Blood Pressure); Immunocompromised State; Inherited Metabolic Disorders; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Liver Disease; Neurologic Conditions; Obesity, BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; Pregnancy; Severe Genetic Disorders; Sickle Cell Disease; and Thalassemia. Residents who are unsure whether they qualify for the vaccine based on a qualifying medical condition should contact their health care provider.
A Note on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine and Appointments
On Tuesday, April 13, the DC Department of Health has announced the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while an investigation into reports of rare but severe side effects occurs.
Appointments made via http://vaccinate.dc.gov should have received direct notification of the cancellation and been offered the opportunity to rebook their appointment for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations beginning Wednesday, April 14.
A New Partnership with CVS:
Three CVS pharmacies will focus on vaccinating teachers and school staff, child care workers, health care workers, and DC residents 65 and older. Eligible individuals will still pre-register through https://vaccinate.dc.gov, but will be directed to schedule their appointment directly through the CVS website.
If you have pre-registered and are still waiting for a vaccination appointment AND are 65+, a healthcare worker or teacher/childcare worker, you can click here to book directly through the CVS website (there is no need to go through the portal again).
Children's National Hospital:
Children’s National Hospital will serve as an access point for 16- and 17-year-olds with qualifying medical conditions. District residents who are 16 or 17 years of age and have a qualifying medical condition and are not an existing patient of Children’s National Hospital or HSC, can pre-register for a vaccination at Children’s National Hospital by following the link posted on coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc.
COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for Homebound Residents:
Homebound residents can now call 1-855-363-0333 to register for an at-home COVID vaccination appointment. Call Center hours from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday and from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
At-Home Testing Kits are Now Available
The District is now offering at-home COVID-19 testing kits at 16 locations. Individuals can learn more and find a list of pick-up and drop-off locations at testyourself.dc.gov.
How to Obtain an Appointment through a Healthcare Facility:
Appointments may also be obtained directly through the following facilities. Please continue to visit these websites to learn more and find out whether the facility is only accepting former patients or new patients.
High-Capacity Vaccination Sites Serving the District of Columbia:
Residents in the District of Columbia are currently being serviced by the following high-capacity vaccination sites:
Beginning May 1, the District will be operating eleven new high-capacity sites with available walk-in appointments for all residents.
Vaccination Outreach and Education Initiatives and Support
Senior Vaccine Buddies Program: The Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA) and the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS) are working with Serve DC to pair senior citizens in the community with volunteers who can help them to register for vaccination appointments.
The COVID-19 Clinician Champion Program (DC CCCP): This partnership between DC Health and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia has been established to provide a cadre of medical experts who can serve as speakers during community meetings and events focused on COVID-19 and the importance of the science behind the vaccine.
Requests for Speakers can be made through the DC Health Community Outreach Request Form at https://dchealth.dc.gov/service/community-outreach-request.
We encourage you to sign-up for alerts regarding appointment availability at https://vaccinate.dc.gov.
The District of Columbia is set to receive $352 million in new federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) for the "Stronger Together by Assisting You" (STAY DC) program and related efforts.
STAY DC will help residents pay 12 months of past-due rent and utility payments and 3 months of forward rent and utility payments. For more information, visit https://stay.dc.gov or call 1-833-4STAY DC.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that it will provide financial assistance to individuals nationwide who have incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses. For more information, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/funeral-assistance or call 844-684-6333.
Updated Guidance on Public Activity and a Look Ahead to the Month of May - April 5, 2021
On April 5, Mayor Bowser provided updated guidance on public activities concerning entertainment venues; graduations and ceremonies; professional gatherings; fitness, pool, and recreational spaces; and more.
To see the Mayor's full April 5 Situational Update Presentation, click here.
Updated Guidance on Public Activity - April 27, 2021
During a press conference on Monday, April 26, Mayor Bowser announced increased capacity for places of worship, gym facilities, indoor non-essential businesses, and live music venues and theaters accommodating seated guests. The Mayor also announced increased capacity for restaurants and that alcohol sales would no longer require the purchase of food in restaurants. Lastly, the Mayor announced a partnership with Audi Field, which will provide a safe, centralized location upcoming for DCPS graduations.
To see the Mayor's full April 26 Situational Update Presentation, click here.
Last updated at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.