Mayor extends DC’s COVID-19 public emergency to 2022

D.C.’s public emergency, which gives the city’s government the power to provide COVID-19 guidance, has been extended to 2022, according to a new Mayor’s order released Thursday.

The public emergency was set to expire Friday, but will now continue through Jan. 7, 2022.

According to the order, the extension was granted following the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, new variants creating new risks, as well as to aid current recovery process including efforts “related to the economy, in-person education and public safety.”

“By extending the Public Emergency, the District can continue responding expeditiously and safely to COVID-19 and its ongoing impacts,” Bowser said.

The extension allows D.C. to continue to receive federal reimbursement funds, federal relief and recovery grants related to COVID-19, as well as entering or continuing participation in programs that help with the city’s response to the coronavirus. The order also keeps the District’s Emergency Operations Center partially or fully active at “the discretion of the City Administrator.”

The District will continue to maintain some of its COVID-19 preventive measures, including retaining sites for isolation and quarantine and programs for medically vulnerable people. Lastly, the city can continue issuing guidance to businesses and city agencies to “aid them in maintaining safe operations.”

Bowser’s order said local transmission remains at a seven-day average of 20 new daily cases per 100,000 people, with total infections up to 61,978 as of Thursday.

D.C. declared a public health emergency on March 11, 2020, the same day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It expired in July but the public emergency received its first extension in its place.

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Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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