Three new vaccination sites will be established in D.C., some high school sports are tentatively set to resume on March 15 and the District's new vaccination pre-registration system is launching next week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday.
The new high-capacity vaccination sites will administer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Bowser provided the updates in her first news conference since she announced on Feb. 24 that her only sister, Mercia Bowser, died of COVID-19.
The sites, which will open this weekend, will be located at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Providence Health System and the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
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These sites are not walk-up sites, and appointments must be booked through vaccinate.dc.gov or through D.C.’s call center, Bowser said at a press conference Thursday.
Bowser also addressed how the District's response to COVID-19 has evolved, exactly one year after her first press briefing regarding the pandemic.
"I thought it was going to be over by the summer," she said. "This virus has been hard."
The mayor praised D.C. residents for their actions over the past year.
"D.C. residents blunted the curve – they did – by their actions," she said. "They sacrificed a lot, but it allowed our hospitals and our hospital workers to be able to have what they need to support people and to save lives."
High School Sports Tentatively Set to Resume on March 15
Bowser warned that the plan to resume high school sports on March 15 "would not be able to move forward if we saw any significant changes in our metrics."
"The expectation is that sports will resume in phases, with the lowest-contact or no-contact activities beginning first," she said.
DC's Vaccine Pre-Registration Portal Launches Next Week
The announcement of D.C.'s new pre-registration system comes after residents reported significant technical issues while trying to book their appointments this past week.
The new pre-registration system will be very similar to the current sign-up portal at vaccinate.dc.gov.
Once a pre-registered resident is eligible for a vaccine, they will receive an invitation to schedule an appointment. The sign-up process will also be available at D.C.'s COVID-19 Call Center at 1-855-363-033.
Travel-Related Quarantine Exemptions
DC Health issued four new pieces of guidance, including requirements for travel, this week for those who have been fully vaccinated.
Travel-related quarantine and testing requirements can be waived if the following conditions are met:
- The individual has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days AND does not have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- The individual is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 AND is within 90 days of the last dose in the COVID-19 vaccine series AND does not have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine series, or after one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
It is recommended for those traveling to bring their vaccination card with them in case documentation is requested.
Who Is Eligible For a Vaccine?
Currently, residents who are 65 or older, and those who are 18 and older with qualifying medical conditions, are eligible for vaccinations.
Essential workers and all teachers and staff who work for a school or child care facility in D.C. are also eligible for the vaccine, and are encouraged to use the District’s pre-registration system when it launches next week if they have not been vaccinated. Signups for these groups have been paused this week in order to prioritize seniors and those with medical conditions.
Bowser announced that Children’s National Hospital is offering vaccination appointments for District residents who are 16 or 17 years old and have qualifying medical conditions. Eligible residents can pre-register here.