District of Columbia - COVID-19 Covered

District of Columbia

Total Cases: 16,767 (October 25)
Fatalities: 642 (October 25)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 in the District of Columbia can be found here. 
  • Beginning October 5, the hours at the District’s public COVID-19 testing sites will be adjusted. (October 2)  
  • Mayor Bowser mandated that all District of Columbia-licensed health insurers cover COVID-19 testing for certain high-risk residents. This requirement will run through the duration of the public health emergency (August 25) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Mayor Bowser’s order closing non-essential businesses designates healthcare and public health operations, essential infrastructure, food and household products and services, social services, communications and information technology, energy and automotive, financial services, educational institutions (for the purposes of facilitating distance learning), transportation and logistics, construction and building trades, housing and living facilities, professional services, and childcare facilities. (March 24)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Mayor Bowser’s order extending the District of Columbia’s public health emergency requires residents to use masks or face coverings when engaged in essential business and essential travel if social distancing cannot be maintained. (May 13) 
  • Beginning April 24, workers became eligible to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, including individuals receiving UI benefits. (April 29) 
  • Mayor Bowser signed an emergency bill that would expand eligibility for unemployment insurance. (March 17) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Mayor Bowser and the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services announced that the District was approved to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. (September 9) 
  • Mayor Bowser and the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency announced the relaunch of the District of Columbia Mortgage Assistance Program (DC MAP) to provide financial relief to District homeowners. (August 11) 
  • The District of Columbia City Council passed an emergency bill that includes an amendment requiring landlords with five or fewer units to establish alternate payment options for tenants during the pandemic, among other provisions. (May 19) 
  • The District of Columbia City Council unanimously passed its fourth COVID-19 response measure, which will cap fees charged by meal delivery services to 15 percent of the order price, as well as require landlords to offer payment plans for renters. (May 6) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced expanded relief options for residents struggling with student loan payments due to the pandemic; qualified residents will receive loan forbearance and other protections. (May 1) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced her administration has launched the new District Economic Recovery Team (DERT), which will coordinate an economic recovery plan for DC in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (April 8) 
  • The District of Columbia City Council passed its second emergency relief bill, establishing a rent freeze, mortgage payment deferrals, an expansion of unemployment insurance, a prohibition on debt-collection lawsuits, and protections against utility shutoffs, among other provisions. (April 7) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Mayor Bowser launched the new Small Business Resiliency Fund to provide $3 million in emergency operational funding for small and local businesses. (October 7) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced that the DC Child Care Provider Relief Fund will provide $5 million in emergency operational funding to child care facilities. (September 21) 
  • Brick-andmortar businesses located in a Great Streets Corridor can now apply for grants of up to $50,000. (September 14) 
  • The Department of Housing and Community Development is making up to $800,000 available for small businesses in the city’s 7th and 8th wards. (May 15) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced more than $8 million in additional support for the District’s small business microgrant program. (April 29) 
  • Mayor Bowser launched the application for a new $25 million microgrant program to provide relief to local small businesses. (March 24) 
  • Mayor Bowser signed an emergency bill that would provide financial assistance for businesses likely to be impacted during the crisis. (March 17) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • DC Health released an updated list of high-risk states in which self-quarantining is required for all visitors who are traveling into the District of Columbia. (October 19) 
  • Mayor Bowser issued a new executive order that extends the District’s public emergency and public health emergency and issues additional measures for Phase Two. (October 9) 
  • District of Columbia Health released an updated list of high-risk states in which self-quarantining is required for all visitors who are traveling into the District of Columbia(October 5) 
  • All outdoor pools operated by the District of Columbia Department of Parks & Recreation will remain closed for the summer. (August 6) 
  • Mayor Bowser issued a new mask orderrequiring all residents over the age of three to wear a mask when they leave the house. (July 22) 
  • The District of Columbia Metro has reopened 15 rail stops and 14 additional bus stops. (June 29) 
  • Under Phase 2 of the District’s reopening, which begins June 22, nonessential retail businesses may open for indoor shopping at 50 percent capacity; permitted personal services are expanded to include tanning, tattoo, waxing, threading, and electrolysis, among others; and nonessential non-retail businesses must continue to have employees telework to the greatest extent possible. Learning institutions such as childcare centers may resume operations with enhanced social distancing and hygiene practices; museums and the National Zoo may reopen with restrictions; libraries may reopen at 50 percent capacity; and colleges and universities may reopen in accordance with plans and processes adapted by city agencies. Restaurants may open for indoor dining with restrictions on table capacity, bar seating, table placement, and queueing. A number of businesses and activities remain closed, including bars and nightclubs. (June 19) 
  • Gatherings of more than 50 individuals are prohibited under Phase 2 of the District of Columbia’s recovery period. (June 19) 
  • Mayor Bowser and the Department of Transportation announced the first seven locations for the District of Columbia’s “Slow Streets” initiative, which will provide residents more space to social distance while moving around outside. (June 8) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Mayor Bowser released guidance regarding the District’s Phase 2 learning plan. Beginning on October 23, families will receive a phone call about in-person learning opportunities.  Families who are being offered a seat in a remote classroom will be contacted on October 30. (October 23) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced that the District plans to invite preschool and elementary school students who are learning English as a second language or who are experiencing homelessness to return to physical classrooms starting November 9. Middle and high school students will continue with virtual learning from home and will likely not be allowed to return to physical classrooms until January. (October 5) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced thirteen schools in the District’s public-school system will bring small groups of students to campuses for in-person learning within the coming days and weeks. (September 28) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced that officials are reviewing plans for students to return to classrooms during the second term of the school year with a hybrid of in-person and online instruction. (September 18) 
  • Mayor Bowser modified the reopening plan and suggested that the District of Columbia expects to resume limited in-person instruction this month. (September 11) 
  • Mayor Bowser launched the Internet for All initiative to provide free internet access for up to 25,000 disconnected low-income students and families. (September 9) 
  • Mayor Bowser announced that District of Columbia public schools will hold remote classes for the first term of the upcoming school year. (July 30) 
  • The District of Columbia’s school year will begin August 31. There has not been a decision made on whether classes will be taught in-person or remotely. (May 22) 

Higher Education:

  • A list of District of Columbia colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com