D.C. residents should continue seeking general health care needs, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday. She also responded to a warning about more possible budget cuts.
Bowser first addressed health care in the District during a briefing Wednesday, reminding residents that the city’s hospitals are safe and preventative measures should continue to be taken.
“We know that heart attack, strokes, cancer and all sorts of other diseases don’t stop during a pandemic. So, please, don’t delay care; call your doctors when you are in doubt,” she said.
Bowser also placed emphasis on children still staying up to date on vaccinations. According to the mayor, there were 1,200 cases of measles nationwide last year, the most since 1992.
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“One pandemic is enough, and we don’t want an epidemic during our pandemic,” said D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.
Nesbitt said last week that the city has seen a decline in children’s immunizations and vaccinations, and urged parents to make sure kids are up to date, even if they aren’t returning to school for in-person education.
Even as children are attending school virtually, she said it is “still critically important” to have up-to-date vaccinations done.
“We want all of our students to be able and ready to return to an in-person learning environment as soon as our public health indicators allow for such,” Nesbitt said.
Another trend Nesbitt addressed was the increasing reports of people who have been infectious while they were out dining or in the work place.
Bowser also addressed the report from D.C. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt that said though additional decline in District revenue is unlikely, another pandemic-related shutdown or setback could lead to a budget overhaul.
“We’ve already cut the low-hanging fruit,” Bowser said, adding, “we will feel them and see them if we have to make additional cuts.”
An updated revenue estimate is scheduled for Sept. 30.
DC’s outdoor pools won’t open this summer
The 21 outdoor pools in the District operated by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation will remain closed for the summer season, the department announced Wednesday.
“We understand residents look forward to escaping the summer heat at our pools. Out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with the District’s public health experts, we have decided to prioritize the health and safety of residents,” DPR Director Delano Hunter said in a statement.
All spray parks and indoor aquatic centers will also stay closed until further notice, the department said.
Though all DPR parks, athletic fields and courts, playgrounds and other outdoor spaces are open, high-contact activities such as football, wrestling and boxing are still not allowed.