Emergency Updates

Inauguration Safety and Vaccine Update

Posted by
Riley Gercak
January 15, 2021

Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 2

Opening Remarks

Dear Neighbors,

The 59th Presidential Inauguration will take place this Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

As your Councilmember, I am honored to serve you during this significant moment in our nation’s history. On Wednesday, I will be proudly watching from home as President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and the first Black and Indian American to hold this position, take the Oath of Office. I ask that you join me in watching the Inauguration virtually and avoid the downtown area due to the ongoing public health emergency and security concerns.

If you live or work in the downtown area, you are encouraged to remain inside when possible and exercise caution when heading outside. Should you need additional information about navigating through areas that are blocked off, please speak with your building owners, property managers or front-desk personnel. Thank you to each of you for doing your part to keep our community safe.

I know that the events of last week have frightened our community and raised significant concerns about personal and public safety. There is additional information below regarding federal and local efforts to keep residents safe. I will continue to work with the Mayor’s office and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency to ensure the safety of Ward 2 residents and provide updated information.

I understand there is also heightened concern over vaccine distribution. In addition to Inauguration Safety, you can find information about the COVID-19 vaccine below. Regarding the COVID-19 vaccination appointments, I want to inform you that my office has relayed comments and concerns around particularized healthcare settings and needs to the District Department of Health.

Given current limitations, DC Health is prioritizing healthcare workers and seniors to receive vaccines in the selected distribution centers due to the storage needs of the vaccines. Currently, the demand for the vaccine exceeds availability and I will continue to work with DC Health to make sure that vaccinations are made available as quickly as possible and to provide updated information to residents.

Please be sure to share this information with your families, friends, and neighbors.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our office. At this time, we are receiving an unprecedented number of calls and emails, and ask that you submit a request at If you need immediate assistance, please call 311. We are working to provide responses to all inquiries as quickly as possible.

Yours in Service,


Inauguration Safety and Public Planning

How to Receive Email and Text Alerts

View additional information on road closures and public space restirctions, visit

The DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) will provide public safety, public transit, road closure, and weather alerts during inauguration week via text. To sign up, text INAUG2021 to 888-777. You can also click here to receive these inauguration updates from HSEMA via email.

For information regarding traffic updates, public security, city services, weather advisories, and more, visit

To register for important updates from the District government, sign up for AlertDC at

The Current State of Emergency and Security Measures

View additional information on road closures and public space restrictions, visit

The Mayor’s request that the President declare a pre-Emergency Declaration for the District of Columbia has been granted. This is necessary because this Inauguration poses several unprecedented challenges that exceed the scope of our traditional planning processes, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the January 6 domestic terror attack on the United States Capitol.

The U.S. Secret Service is leading coordination of security for the US Capitol during the inauguration. The priority for this coordination is the protection of the incoming President, Vice President and all federal property.

Up to 20,000 troops from the National Guard are on-call and available for deployment, many of whom are already stationed at the US Capitol.

The presence of the National Guard will ensure the Metropolitan Police Department is able to focus on its local mission in the District’s eight wards. MPD will have their entire sworn officer force activated and working 12-hour shifts with one day off until after the inauguration. It is my understanding MPD and the members of the National Guard will be the primary responders to any issues in DC neighborhoods.

If you see or hear something suspicious, please say something. Let’s all help to keep one another safe. For emergencies, please call 911. You can also send an anonymous message to MPD by texting 50411.

Businesses are asked to print and display the District's "Weapons Are Not Welcome" signs in their windows to discourage anyone from carrying weapons on the premise. Business owners and workers are also asked to call 911 if they encounter armed invididuals and to avoid confrontation. To download and print the signage, visit

Road Closures and Restricted Public Spaces

There are a number of street closures that started this week and will continue through next week. This will impact workers and residents' ability to travel to and through the Downtown. Those traveling for essential reasons will need identification to access areas that have been blocked off.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 Washington

The United States Capitol Police has released a list of areas impacted by parking restrictions and road closures due to the Inauguration. The following road closures are in effect until after the Inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

  • Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue, SW, and Second Street, SE.
  • Constitution Avenue between First Street, NW, and Second Street, NE.
  • East Capitol Street between First and Second Streets.
  • Massachusetts Avenue between Second Street and Louisiana Avenue, NE
  • Louisiana Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue, NE, and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • D Street between Louisiana and New Jersey Avenues, NW
  • New Jersey Avenue between D Street and Louisiana Avenue, NW
  • C Street between First Street and Louisiana Avenue, NW
  • First Street between C Street and Louisiana Avenue, NW
  • Constitution Avenue between Second Street, NW, and Second Street, NE
  • Third Street between Constitution Avenue, NW, and Independence Avenue, SW
  • I-395 Exit at Second and C Streets, SW
  • Independence Avenue between Third Street, SW, and Second Street, SE
  • Independence Avenue between Third Street, SW, and Second Street, SE
  • Washington Avenue between Independence Avenue and D Street, SW
  • Second Street between C Street, SE, and Massachusetts Avenue, NE  

Additionally, the United States Secret Service, along with law enforcement and public safety partners announced the joint transportation plan surrounding the 2021 Presidential Inauguration this morning. Many street and bridge closures and parking restrictions have already gone into effect. Please click here to see their full release.

Please note that most parking garages in Downtown DC will be closed starting today, Jan. 15, 2021 at 6:00 am.

You can also click here to follow @DCPoliceTraffic on Twitter for minute-to-minute updates on road closures citywide.  

Public Transit

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced major adjustments to service during the period Friday, January 15, through Thursday, January 21. This includes the closure of 13 metro stations and the detouring of more than 26 bus lines. A weekend schedule will also be implemented on certain days.

Click here to see WMATA’s latest 2021 Inauguration Service Information.

You may also follow WMATA on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for the latest updates.

DC Circulator

DC Streetcar

  • DC Streetcar service is suspended immediately until further notice. For the latest information about service, please visit

Capital Bikeshare

  • Capital Bikeshare stations around the National Mall, Capitol Hill and Union Station will be unavailable until further notice. For the latest information about service adjustments, please check:

Have Information Regarding the Recent Attack on the United States Capitol Building?

MPD seeks assistance in identifying persons of interest in reference to criminal offenses related to unrest at the US Capitol that occurred on January 6th.

If you have information you can call (202) 727-9099 or send an anonymous tip to 50411. Text, photo and video messages are monitored by members of the department 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tips on serious or violent crimes will be investigated by members of the department. If you would like a police response for any incident, please call 911

In addition, the FBI is seeking assistance in locating and identifying a suspect responsible for the pipe bombs found in DC on January 6th. Reward of up to $50k. If you have information you can call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

COVID-19 Recovery and Vaccination Updates

DC Health

At this time, vaccination appointments are only available for workers in health care settings and District residents 65 years of age and older. To schedule an appointment, please visit or call the District’s call center at 855-363-0333. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7pm and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm.

All appointments from this past week have been filled. There is overwhelming interest for a limited number of vaccines. Each week the federal government allocates vaccines to the District and the Department of Health releases appointments in accordance with the number of vaccines we received. It is important that you sign up to receive alerts for when new appointments will become available. You can do so here:

When you have successfully registered for an appointment you will receive a confirmation number that you will need to bring to your appointment.

If you do not work in a health care setting or are not a District resident 65 years of age and older, you can also submit your email address or mobile phone and you will receive an email or text message when registration opens to additional populations.

DC Health is sensitive to the unique needs of seniors, in particular seniors who have mobility limitations. DC Health is optimistic that more vaccines to prevent COVID-19 will be approved for use by the FDA this spring. These vaccines are not expected to have the same storage, packaging, and use limitations as the two vaccines that are currently available and should allow for more onsite clinics for small groups.

The George Washington University Hospital is currently following vaccine distribution guidelines from the District of Columbia and DC Health. In following these guidelines, GW Hospital is now vaccinating patients of GW Hospital / The GW Medical Faculty Associates who are District residents and over the age of 65. If you meet these criteria, you may be able to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated.

Sibley Memorial Hospital is administering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients who are age 65 and older and live in Washington, D.C., per guidance from DC Health. A patient is anyone who has sought care with a Johns Hopkins Medicine provider within the last two years. If you meet the above criteria, you are on Johns Hopkins Medicine’s list to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. When it is your turn to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, you will receive a notification through MyChart. For privacy reasons, the notification will be titled, “You have an appointment to schedule in MyChart.” Please check your MyChart account regularly for this appointment notification. If you would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Sibley encourages you to activate your MyChart account.

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