I hope you and your family and friends had a warm, wonderful, and safe Thanksgiving. I'm writing with just a few quick updates on two items -- consider this a half-newsletter.
The Brickies are Tomorrow Night!
First, the 2021 Ward 6 Virtual Brickies are this Thursday at 8 pm! This will be the 15th year of the annual Ward 6 celebration! After receiving nearly 50 unique nominations (plus hundreds of repeat nominations), we've made the hard decisions on who gets a brick this year. Tune in on Zoom (no need to download anything) to meet some of your neighbors doing really wonderful work in our community. When you register for the event today, you'll have the link in your inbox so it's all simple and easy to join on Thursday night.
So grab takeout from your favorite Ward 6 restaurant and get a comfy seat to see who won!
Update on Omicron Variant
Second, I've heard from enough residents concerned that I'd like to spend a moment on Omicron, the new coronavirus variant. I'm going to echo what we've heard from many public health experts over the weekend -- we don't know enough to draw any conclusions yet, but we do know that we should take it seriously. And whatever we learn in the coming weeks, we already know the best tools to keep us safe. Vaccines and mitigation efforts like masking in higher-risk situations and physical distancing save lives and prevent the transmission of the virus. Get vaxxed. Get boosted. Wear a mask.
The Council has a weekly call with the Executive that's been ongoing and I will be there to learn more about preparations for an increase in cases. Among my chief concerns are understanding what metrics, if any, DC Health is following to make decisions on things like mask mandates, vaccine requirements, and other mitigation and prevention strategies.
On the vaccines front, anyone age 5 years or older is eligible to get vaccinated for free. Here are 50 locations within five miles of Ward 6 where you can get a shot for a child or for yourself, either by appointment or walk-in. Vaccines have changed the game and are one of the biggest reasons we've seen dramatic reductions in hospitalizations and deaths from this virus, even while cases and community spread remain elevated. You can also check on DC Health-run sites each day where no appointments are required.
On masks, as I wrote last week, I don't support the Mayor loosening the mask mandate, which remains in place for school and daycare settings, public transportation, and congregate settings, but otherwise is optional depending on the setting or place of business. You'll still see me wear a mask indoors and I've certainly noticed many other DC residents are choosing to wear a mask. Please give businesses and employees space to decide what works best, and reach out to me if you need any support.
Thanks neighbors. I'll send out a longer newsletter update later this month, but wanted to get these two immediate items in front of you today.
See you tomorrow,