Ward 6 Updates and Resources Around Coronavirus Shutdowns
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Best resource for updated information: https://coronavirus.dc.gov
Information on DC Government Service Operations: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/whats-open
Information on Vaccine Distribution
The most important information to keep in mind is that the availability of vaccines for distribution is nowhere near the demand from residents who would like to get vaccinated each week. DC's Department of Health is dependent on the shipments received from the federal government.
Update 1/11/21: With this week's announcement that District residents 65 and older are now eligible to begin receiving the vaccine, there's a lot of folks trying to register to receive the vaccine, which is great! But it also created a lot of bumps as many more people tried to sign up for an appointment than there were slots available. There are a lot of moving parts in distributing this vaccine, which has very specific and challenging storage, packaging, and distribution requirements. So let's walk through some key points:
1) Eligibility for vaccines is following a planned schedule. Right now, health care workers who are regularly exposed to hazardous materials or COVID-19 and cannot work from home are eligible, as are all District residents over the age of 65. However, there are a limited number of available appointments based on the amount of vaccine the District has been issued on a week-to-week basis.
2) You can only register for an appointment if you are in a phase that is currently eligible. You cannot register before you are eligible. If you did register in advance, you will need to re-register once you become eligible.
3) Only if you are eligible, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc or call 855-363-0333 to request an appointment. Councilmember Allen has been working with the Department of Health and the Chief Technology Officer to make improvements to the website, which has a number of glitches and can be very confusing.
4) Please note: appointments are limited to the number of vaccine doses available in a given week - if the website says "Records Not Available," that means all appointments have already been booked. We are working with DC Health to provide feedback to make the website and the call center more user-friendly.
5) Once you are eligible, you remain eligible throughout the vaccine rollout.
6) To receive an alert when more appointments are available, sign up here. Please note, this is not a waiting list:
7) Please do not attempt to sign-up for an appointment if you are not eligible.
8) Here are the announced dates from the DC Health for upcoming eligibility:
- Dec 2020: Health Care Workers who are regularly exposed to hazardous materials and cannot work from home. (You are eligible to register.)
- Jan 11, 2021: District residents 65 and older . (You are eligible to register.)
- Jan 25, 2021: Other essential workers, including public safety employees, education employees including teachers and child care workers, grocery store workers (you are NOT eligible to register yet).
- Feb 1, 2021: DC residents with chronic medical conditions and other essential employees (you are NOT eligible to register yet
9) Finally, if you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, I found this Q&A helpful and would encourage you to read through it: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine-information
I got an email saying Ward 6 residents aren't eligible.
From Councilmember Allen: I want to explain the email blast many neighbors received Friday evening from the DC Department of Health. I want to be clear right up front: eligible Ward 6 seniors and health care workers can expect to sign-up for new vaccine appointments set to be released on Monday morning. There’s been confusion following DOH’s email from last night and I want to clear that up.
Today, the city has released a few appointment slots to receive the vaccine for DC residents who are 65 or older and live in Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, or 8. Again, I want to be clear that this does not mean Ward 6 residents are excluded from receiving the vaccine appointments that will be released each week, beginning with this coming Monday.
As a quick reminder, the Department of Health has been releasing appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine each week, based on the amount of vaccine shipment released to us by the federal government. They will be releasing another round of appointments this coming Monday morning that residents in phase 1a (health care workers) and 1b (residents 65 and older) can apply for, including Ward 6 residents. This was not made explicitly clear in their communication last night.
That said, the Saturday sign-up slots are intentional to work on doing better with equity. There are very significant challenges about how the rollout went in the first week and I joined several of my colleagues in expressing concerns that we were leaving behind some residents who had been harmed the most by this awful virus.
The data clearly shows that the sign-up system isn’t helping equally across the city, and in fact is being implement the complete reverse the communities most impacted by this disease. Ward 6 was able to claim more than ten times the vaccination slots than Ward 8 in week one; but Ward 8 has had double the number of lives lost to COVID than Ward 6. Wards 4, 5, and 7 have some of the largest number of residents age 65+ and more than Ward 6. We need to be intentional about correcting a lot of historic wrongs playing out right now.
The District has a limited number of vaccines each week. While it has been a herculean effort by many hardworking federal employees to get a vaccine to this point, the scarcity we face is in part due to the highest levels of government not aggressively pursuing as much vaccine as possible. I know there are many Ward 6 seniors who are still waiting for a chance to be vaccinated. I know this is a hopeful moment after months of dark days.
So our challenge will continue to be how we get vaccine out quickly, but to also keep equity in mind. I’ll keep fighting for Ward 6 like I have been doing - with testing and vaccination sites located in Ward 6 neighborhoods, and ensuring Ward 6 residents have access to vaccination slots. I’m including some links below to data released by DOH showing where residents lived in the District who were able to successfully sign up for an appointment.
And for eligible residents, here is the link to register for appointments once they have been released each week: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc
Data on appointments in the first week: https://twitter.com/JulieZauzmer/status/1350213240870100992
Resources for Students:
NEW LOCATIONS!!! Here's a list of every location in Ward 6 serving free meals for students. Click here for all locations citywide.
- DC Central Kitchen is opening sites serving grab-n-go breakfast and lunch daily, and distributing fresh produce while supplies last each day. In Ward 6, find them at Banning Courts Community Center (1713 Banning Road, NE Monday-Friday from 12-1 pm) and The Pentacle Community Center (1509 Banning Rd, NE Monday-Friday 2:15-3:15 pm)
- Jefferson Middle School (801 7th St., SW)
- Eastern High School (1700 East Capitol Street, NE)
- Walker-Jones Education Campus (1125 New Jersey Avenue, NW)
- Howard University Middle School of Math and Science PCS (outside of Shaw Metro) | 12-1 pm Monday-Friday
- Friendship Chamberlain PCS (1345 Potomac Avenue, SE) | 8:30-11:30 am
- Kingsman Academy PCS (1375 E Street, SE) | ***Beginning March 23, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. M-F
- Full list: https://dcps.dc.gov/coronavirus
**These meals are available for ALL students, regardless of what school they attend. There is no need to present a student ID.**
I know many Ward 6 families also have DC Public Charter School students. Each school makes its own decision, but almost every school has followed the same guidance.
Free Internet Service for Low-Income Families, Seniors, and Veterans: Passing on this offer from Comcast that is offering two months free for the Internet Essentials service for low-income families, seniors, and veterans. Learn more here.
Resources for Seniors:
For all questions around senior services and to sign-up for meal delivery, call 202-724-5626.
Dept of Aging and Community Living remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31.DACL will continue to provide critical services to District seniors, such as meals.
DACL’s Information & Referral/Assistance line (202) 724-5626 will continue to operate Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
DACL’s Adult Protective Services (APS) hotline (202) 541-3950 will continue to operate 24 hours a day, to accept reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
Adult Day Health Centers remain open. Please contact (202) 724-5626 for the most up-to-date information.
Senior Wellness Centers and community dining sites will be temporarily closed for activities effective Monday, March 16 - 31, 2020. However, meals will be available for pick-up at each site between Monday - Friday, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for current participants. Please call (202) 724-5626 for the most up-to-date information.
Resources for our Ward 6 Senior Residents Food
My staff have been checking in on seniors around Ward 6. I want to thank family members and neighbors who have been helping with errands or groceries.
The following grocery stores have set up seniors-only hours when the store is open to minimize the risk of exposure for our senior residents who still need to go to the store:
Giant Food: Customers 60 and older, as well as those with compromised immune systems, can shop 6 a.m. - 7 a.m. Regular store hours for everyone else.
Safeway: Special two hour shopping window on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 am for senior citizens, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Regular store hours: 5 am to 12 am.
Whole Foods: Check local stores for adjusted hours. Customers 60 and older can shop one hour before opening. The Ward 6 location on H Street has set aside 7-8 am daily for senior residents.
Harris Teeter: Harris Teeter has not yet announced any special hours. Stores will close daily at 9 p.m. so employees can restock and clean.
Trader Joe's: Trader Joe's hasn't announced special shopping hours. All stores are set to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Walmart: Walmart has adjusted hours for all stores, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Tuesdays from March 28 to April 28, the stores will host special shopping times for customers age 60 and older. They can come to the store one hour before it opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will be open at that time.
Target: The first hour of the store opening every Wednesday is set aside for seniors and others with compromised immune systems.
The Department on Aging and Community Living has set up a dedicated phone number for seniors with questions or looking to sign-up for meal delivery: 202-724-5626.
Here's some information on meals and food available or coming online shortly. If you have a senior neighbor who might not be online, feel free to print out this information and share:
1) Daily meal pick-up at the Hayes Center (500 K Street, NE) is available Monday-Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, as well as boxed lunches available daily at the normal senior meal sites. Previously scheduled home-delivered meals are continuing as usual.
2) Hot meal pickup from Southeast White House is at 12pm -- 2909 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. No ID required.
3) The Capital Area Food Bank has shelf-ready food for free pickup at 900 North Capitol (front of St. Aloysius Church) starting March 18, Monday-Thursday from 1:30-4:00 pm. Call (202) 842-1112 for more information.
4) There's an exercise program on Channel 16 from 9am-3pm for the general public and healthy seniors.
5) The Department on Aging and Community Living social workers, including Adult Protective Services, are on duty regular hours. Seabury Resources, Ward 6's Lead Agency for social workers and other services, are also on-call at (202) 397-1725.
Food, Grocery, & Diapers Assistance
A few of our nonprofit community partners are open and working hard to provide free groceries to residents who need help. DC Greens does a wonderful weekly newsletter on both food resources and volunteer opportunities: sign-up here.
H Street Food Drive for Ward 5-6 Neighbors: Contactless food/groceries available for neighbors who need some extra assistance. They also offer contactless food delivery for anyone in the area that needs it, especially elderly, single parents, those with special needs.
Pick up at Maketto: 1351 H Street, NE
Monday – Saturday: 7:30am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 7:30am -5pm
If in need of delivery assistance text 202-681-3532.
Want to help? Drop off or Send Non-Perishable Food Deliveries To:
Attention: H ST. NE FOOD DRIVE
1351 H ST. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Send all monetary donations To:
Capital Area Food Bank: To find a distribution site near you, use the Interactive Partner Map on this page: https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response/
CAFB Partner Sites in or near Ward 6:
- Father McKenna Center (900 North Capitol St., NW): 1:30-4 pm Monday-Thursday
- DC Central Kitchen (425 Second St NW, Washington, DC, 20001) 202-400-2804: 7 Days A week, 8:30 am to 4 pm
Martha's Table: Check here for Martha Table's ongoing community grocery distribution and ways to get connected.
Free Daily Meals for Residents Who Aren't Seniors or Students:
Daily, free prepackaged meal at Ebenezer's Coffee Shop from 1-1:30 pm. 2nd and F St., NE
DC Dream Center/ SouthEast White House at 2909 Pennsylvania Ave, SE. (This is Ward 7). Food available 7 days a week from noon until the food runs out.
Partners with Greater DC Diaper Bank Giving Away Diapers and Supplies: Check out info on each provider and how to get in touch for supplies. https://greaterdcdiaperbank.org/our-programs/diaperhubs/
Ward 6 Business and Employee Help
Small businesses and most nonprofit organizations in D.C. are now eligible for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Loans can be for up to $2 million and can be used for payroll and to pay existing debts and expenses. The SBA will only provide these loans if the SBA determines that the applicant can’t get credit anywhere else. SBA says that during the COVID-19 emergency the interest rate for small businesses will be 3.75% and 2.75% for nonprofits. The term of the loan will depend on the applicant’s situations but can be for up to 30 years to keep payments affordable. The SBA has more information specific to its COVID-19 response here, and small businesses and nonprofits can apply here. SBA’s website notes that they are receiving a high volume of applications, and the Mayor has noted that small businesses and nonprofits in the District should consider applying before other states become eligible.
Shared Work Programs
The Mayor announced that the Department of Employment Services has set up a Shared Work program that can provide benefits for employees at businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information and employers can apply to set up a Shared Work plan on the DOES website. Briefly, the program allows businesses that have lost revenue, and cannot continue to pay all of its employees, to reduce all employees’ hours instead of letting anyone go. Additionally, businesses will be able to re-hire anyone who worked for them in the last quarter and create a Shared Work plan that includes the re-hired employees. Those employees, in turn, can receive partial unemployment benefits—in addition to a reduced paycheck from their employer. To be eligible, businesses must be reducing employees’ hours by at least 10%, but not more than 60%.
For example, if a restaurant would otherwise have to fire half of its staff, because the revenue from delivery and takeout aren’t enough to keep paying everyone, the restaurant can instead reduce all employees’ hours by half and continue to keep them on the payroll. In this example, the employees participating in a Shared Work plan would receive (a) half of their usual paycheck + (b) half of the unemployment benefits that they would be eligible for if they were fired + (c) the $600 weekly benefit that Congress recently authorized.
Starting Friday, April 24, independent contractors and self-employed District residents should be eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance. As part of the Federal CARES Act, the District was able to expand eligibility for unemployment insurance. Check out the graphic to the right (or click here) to learn what you need to do to receive benefits.
In March, the Council passed legislation to dramatically expand eligibility for unemployment insurance. As you can imagine, a lot of people are applying and having some challenges getting through. Our office is working to assist and the Department of Employment Services has put together some helpful resources:
- Here's what you need to apply: https://does.dc.gov/service/unemployment-compensation-process
- Checklist if you are eligible: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/DOES-covid-19-scenarios-and-benefits_v13_0.pdf
- Direct link to application (recommended from a laptop or desktop using Internet Explorer): https://www.dcnetworks.org/vosnet/Default.aspx
- DOES Instructional Webinars: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/does-covid-19-webinar-tickets-101243052696
- FAQ for Employees: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/Coronavirus%20FAQ%20for%20Employees_v4.pdf
- FAQ for Employers: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/Coronavirus%20FAQ%20for%20Employers_v4.pdf
Right now, independent contractors and self-employed residents are not eligible for unemployment insurance (“UI”). That could change if the federal government makes Disaster Unemployment Assistance (“DUA”) available. DUA will be available if the president declares a national disaster, which he has not done yet, or Congress could potentially make DUA available through legislation, which also has not happened yet. We will keep an eye on changes at the federal level, but the District is in position to take advantage of DUA as soon as it is available. The Council’s emergency legislation gives the Mayor the power to take advantage of DUA for self-employed residents and independent contractors, and the District’s Department of Employment Services already has notified the federal Department of Labor that the District would apply for DUA for our residents if it becomes available. More information about DUA is available here.
Electricity, Gas, Internet, and Water Utility Resources
The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia has a great resource page for residents: https://dcpsc.org/Coronavirus.aspx
Support Local Restaurants with Takeout or Delivery
Nearly every local BID or Main Street program is running a list of businesses in that neighborhood offering takeout or delivery. Our restaurant industry was one of the first to take a huge hit from social distancing. As much as you can, try to support when you can!
Mt. Vernon Triangle Restaurant Listings
Barracks Row Restaurants
Eastern Market - Capitol Hill
Volunteer and Help Your Neighbors
Neighbors are stepping up in a big way right now to help with everything from errand running to help with emergency supplies.
Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network: The Hill Rag has a great profile about the Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network and includes how to contact and support at the bottom of the story.
Table Church DC: Table Church DC has a central organizing effort for healthy adults who can assist with running errands and meeting other needs. Start here.
District of Columbia Medical Reserve Corps: Supports the DC Department of Health with medical and non-medical volunteers assisting with planned events and emergencies. More than 3,000 District residents have already applied. Learn more here if this sounds like a way you can assist.
Marriage Licenses In the Time of Coronavirus
Love doesn't take a break and you can still get a marriage license in an emergency. Here's how.