Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that DC’s Covid-focused public emergency will remain in place until January 7, 2022. The original public emergency order went into effect on March 11, 2020, which means the city has now been in a state of public emergency for 18 consecutive months.
Although the mayor’s order notes the role vaccines have played in minimizing hospitalizations and death, the pandemic continues to impact the District. According to the edict, DC has a seven-day average of 20 new cases per 100,000 residents each day. Considering the metrics, new variants, and additional repercussions of the pandemic beyond public health, the mayor has opted to remain in a state of public emergency.
Doing so allows the city to activate the Emergency Operations Center, issue safety guidelines, and set up emergency medical sites as needed. The order also helps to ensure access to federal programs that could aid DC’s coronavirus response.
The mayor last extended the public emergency in July. The extension was supposed to expire on Friday, October 8, but will now be in place until 2022.