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  • Nick Cheolas

Collected COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Updated: Apr 26

Below please find my most recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) community updates and a collection of local information and resources.

To sign up to receive updates directly, go here.


Monday, April 20, 2020


Key Links

  • *The* place for COVID-19 information: coronavirus.dc.gov/

  • You can find my most recent update (from April 6) here. Information from all of my previous updates can be found on my website and blog, here.

  • A good chart on DC's Coronavirus cases. 

Recent DC Government Announcements

  • Last week, Mayor Bowser extended the public health emergency until May 15. You can find information on the Mayor's April 15 press conference in this thread from Councilmember McDuffie.

  • Mayor Bowser also announced that DCPS schools will continue "distance learning" through the end of the school year; schools will close on May 29. For more information, go here.

  • The Committee on Education is seeking feedback on distance learning and the public health emergency. For more information, go here.

  • You can review DC's latest "Situational Updates"

  • From April 13 (pdf) information on road closures, grocery sites, and testing updates.

  • From April 17 (pdf), information on unemployment and schools.

  • From Councilmember Robert White, here's a summary on the second Coronavirus emergency bill, including support for residents and businesses.

  • WMATA is now asking residents to wear masks on trains and buses.

Food

  • Mayor Bowser issued a new order on grocery stores and farmer's markets across DC. This order:

  • Requires shoppers to wear face masks while shopping, limits the number of shoppers who can be in a store at any time, and encourages "one way" aisles. For more information, go here.

  • Farmers markets must have an approved COVID-19 plan and waiver to operate. Our own Brookland Monroe St. Farmers Market does, and is able to operate on Saturdays.

  • For information on vendors, go here.

  • For information on market restrictions (and to sign up for the market weekly newsletters, which I have found very helpful), go here.

  • Ward 5's Good Food Market (on Rhode Island Ave) has launched a Pop-Up Food Bank weekly on Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM,  at 2006 Rhode Island Ave. NE.  The distribution of fresh food bags from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM will be pre-scheduled only. Any remaining bags will be available to walk-ups from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. For more information or to sign up, go here.

  • DC has launched ten grocery distribution sites across DC for students and families. The Ward 5 site is at Brookland Middle School, 150 Michigan Avenue, NE, where groceries will be distributed on Mondays from 12:30pm-2pm. Residents can pick up pre-packed grocery bags, which include fresh produce and dry goods. Groceries are being distributed on a first come, first served basis. More information here.

  • Here is an updated list of grocery store hours and details for DC.

  • Giant Food has limited hours and implemented other restrictions, which you can find here.


Testing

  • DC now has seven Coronavirus public testing sites, listed here. You will need an appointment or a referral to get tested - in other words, you can't just walk up and get a test. For more information on testing, go here.

Unemployment

  • A helpful article on assistance for freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers and other self-employed individuals.

  • You can also email pua@dc.gov to be notified when you are eligible to apply Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the CARES Act.

  • Unemployment Insurance fact sheets, guides, and resources can be found here.

Supporting Local Businesses

Housing

  • This bulletin from the Council Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization summarizes recent emergency legislation affecting (1) renters & housing providers; (2) homeowners and home buyers; (3) public housing residents and voucher holders; (4) senior citizens.

  • The Office of the Tenant Advocate can answer questions related to housing, involving landlords, and other rental issues. For information, go here (pdf).

Utilities

DPW Updates

  • Trash and recycling collection will continue as scheduled.

  • Residential mowing continues but may be delayed.

  • Residential street sweeping is suspended.

  • Document shredding is suspended. Residents are encouraged to place non-sensitive documents directly in recycle bins without using plastic bags.

  • All resident solid waste drop-offs, including hazardous waste and e-cycling, are suspended.

  • Resident mulch pick-up is suspended.

Need Help? Able to Help?

  • The Ward 5 Mutual Aid Network is a grassroots, citywide, resident-led effort to provide help to others. If you are able to help, or if you need help, email ward5.mutualaid@gmail.com or call 202-643-7030.

  • Empower DC has a very comprehensive Community Resource Guide, compiling available resources on many different topics.

Federal Resources


Monday, April 6, 2020


  • You can find a link to the 4/6/20 update here.


Monday, March 30, 2020


  • The one stop shop for DC Coronavirus information, as always: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

  • Mayor Bowser ordered all "non-essential businesses" closed and has banned all "large gatherings" (of 10 or more people). I have attached the Mayor's Order, for your reference, or in case you need some reading material.

  • Here's a simple graphic on how to properly "social distance." Remember: stay inside as much as possible; if you have to go out, practice good social distancing and use common sense.

  • Children's National Hospital has set up a drive-thru/walk-up COVID-19 testing site at Trinity College (125 Michigan Avenue NE), operating from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. every day for children and young adults through age 22. This service will only be available for those who have been identified by their primary care physician as having symptoms of COVID-19. In other words, you must have a physician referral for testing. More information available here.

  • Related: I found this blog post, from One Medical, pretty useful to help understand all of the dynamics affecting Coronavirus testing.

Seniors:

Supporting our Neighbors - provide or request aid:

  • First: please reach out to elderly or at-risk neighbors near you first - by phone, email, a note on the door, or any other (non contact!) method.

  • Second: Contact information for the Ward 5 Mutual Aid Exchange: 202-643-7030; bit.ly/dcmutualaidward5 or ward5.mutualaid@gmail.com.

  • Our good friends at the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association have created a great guide of local resources here.

  • You can find a city-wide mutual aid network Facebook group here.

Support local businesses:

Small Businesses:

  • Applications are open for the DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Program to support small businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, and self-employed people amid the public health emergency. Applications are due this Tuesday, March 31 at 6pm.

  • To apply and get started visit: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/dc-small-business-recovery-grants. For additional resources and links visit: https://kenyanmcduffieward5.com/coronavirus.

Unemployment: The Department of Employment Services (DOES) will be hosting daily webinars to answer questions regarding unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. To select a date and register, click here.

  • For more info and to sign up for unemployment benefits, visit www.dcnetworks.org.

  • Information from DC's Office of Tenant Advocate - for tenants who may be facing issues with landlords - can be found here.

  • Councilmember McDuffie's 3/27 Coronavirus updates can be found here.


Monday, March 23, 2020


Latest Information and Guidance

  • Councilmember McDuffie's latest Ward 5 Reports are available here and here. Now would be a great time to sign up for Ward 5-relevant updates, which you can do here.

  • Councilmember Bonds has collected a ton of information on the emergency COVID-19 bill and available resources here.

  • Unemployment information is available here.

  • Information for Small Businesses - and there's a lot of it! - is available here.

  • What's open around DC? The list is constantly changing, but it's available here

  • DDOT & transportation updates are available here. Most notable: street sweeping and rush hour parking restrictions are currently suspended.

  • A number of DC-area grocery stores have adjusted hours, implemented purchase limits, or set aside specific hours for senior shopping. For an overview of which stores are doing what, go here.

  • Information from WMATA on bus and rail service is constantly changing, but is basically consistent with their advice to "use Metro only if no other options are available" - trains are every 15-20 minutes; buses are on a "modified Sunday schedule." For the latest, go here.

Food & Meals

  • Free meals for *all* school-age children. Location finder is here; more information here. Nearby locations include:

  • Brookland MS (1401 Michigan Ave NE); Bethune Day Academy PCS (1404 Jackson St NE); and McKinley ES (151 T St NE).

  • Senior Wellness Centers and community dining sites are temporarily closed. However, meals will be available for pick-up at each site between 10 am and 2 pm for current participants. For more information, you can reach the Department on Aging and Community Living (DACL) hotline at (202) 724-5626. 

  • The Capital Area Food Bank is adjusting operations at distribution centers and hubs. For the latest on each location, go here.

  • The DC Food Project has collected a wealth of information on how to access - and help others access - food and meals. Available here.

  • Over 500 DC restaurants are now able to sell beer, wine, and spirits with carry-out or delivery prepared food. For a map of these businesses, go here.

Support Local Businesses and Neighbors:

  • Our good friends at The Brookland Bridge blog have collected information on Brookland-area businesses, ways to help, and ways to stay connected. All of that is available here.

  • The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association has also collected information on how to support Brookland-area businesses and neighbors, including information on how to assist with our at-risk neighbors, how to support our local businesses, and a list of safe, hyper-local sources for fresh produce and other food items.

  • A helpful map of local business statuses is here.

Contact Information for Ward 5 Representatives

  • Councilmember McDuffie's Office: Kelley Cislo, Constituent Services (202-724-8172; kcislo@dccouncil.us)

  • Mayor's Office of Community Relations: Dominique Chestnut, Ward 5 Liaison (202-535-1937; dominique.chestnut@dc.gov)


Tuesday, March 17, 2020


  • On Tuesday, the DC Council passed an emergency bill to help respond to the Coronavirus crisis. For a helpful, bullet-point overview of the emergency legislation, go here. The full legislation is here.


  • WMATA has reduced rail and bus service and is urging everybody *not* to travel unless absolutely necessary. Details on the service reductions are here.


  • What should you be doing right now? Not very much! Use your best judgment: If you are able to, stay inside your home as much as possible. If you go out, practice "social distancing" which means what it sounds like - staying at least 6' away from others. Frequently - and especially if you go out - wash your hands, avoid touching your face (easier said than done but easier once you start to focus on it), and cough/sneeze into your shirt and not on the rest of us. If you feel sick, stay home, and call your doctor.

  • Senior citizens and those with existing health conditions: Do all of the above, but be extra cautious. Stay home, avoid crowds, and stock up on everyday supplies and medications.

  • All of us should act with our high-risk neighbors in mind. You may not be at risk, and you may not experience symptoms, but you could unwittingly help spread the virus to others. Let's not do that. Be smart.


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