State Watch

DC adding vaccine, testing centers as region’s COVID-19 death rate increases

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Tuesday announced that the city would be adding eight COVID-19 centers that would allow residents to obtain at-home antigen tests and vaccines as the region grapples with an increased COVID-19 death rate.

Residents will be able to grab at-home rapid COVID-19 tests or walk up to receive a PCR COVID-19 test. The centers will also provide additional opportunities for people to get their initial vaccine doses and booster shots if they are eligible. 

Four of the COVID-19 centers opened on Tuesday in Wards 1, 2, 7 and 8, and the city said that another four centers would open next Monday in Wards 3, 4, 5 and 6. All of the centers will be open six days a week, but the city noted that their hours were scheduled as such so that several centers would be open to the public any day of the week. 

“Getting vaccinated, getting boosted, getting tested, and wearing our masks is how we will get through this,” Bowser said in a statement. “With the COVID Centers, we are doubling down on our commitment to equity and accessibility and ensuring we have the systems in place to support a long-term response that can be dialed-up or down and quickly modified to meet our community’s needs.”

The Washington Post reported that Bowser’s announcement comes as the Washington, D.C., region sees an increased death rate, including a 2 percent increase in COVID-19 deaths in Maryland for the seven-day average of deaths compared to the week prior.

An increase in COVID-19 cases is often followed by an uptick in deaths, according to experts, the Post noted.

Bowser’s announcement also follows the White House’s launch of its website this week that allows Americans to order at-home COVID-19 tests, tools that health officials say will help Americans make informed decisions around larger gatherings with friends and family. 

Tags COVID-19 Muriel Bowser Muriel Bowser Washington D.C.

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