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Mayor Bowser Issues Mayor’s Order Extending Public Emergency, Ending the Public Health Emergency

Saturday, July 24, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2021-096 to update and extend the District’s Public Emergency and end the Public Health Emergency that has been in effect since March 11, 2020. After signing the order, the Mayor released the following statement:

“On March 11, 2020, just days after confirming the first case of COVID-19 in DC, we declared both a Public Health Emergency and a Public Emergency. Since those earliest days of the pandemic, our residents and businesses have continuously stepped up and sacrificed to protect the health and well-being of our community. When we asked residents to stay home, they did. When we set up a public testing system that was second to none and asked people to get tested, they did. When we continued to update our mask guidance according the latest science, our community followed along and masked up. Most recently, hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians have rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated, both to protect their own health and to help us crush this virus. Because of our community’s efforts, we were able to reopen DC, reunite with friends and family, and get our city on track for a strong recovery. Moving forward, while we will no longer operate under a Public Health Emergency, we will continue to keep in place a Public Emergency. In doing so, the District can stay nimble in our response to the virus and we retain the ability to implement or dial up and down critical measures to protect the health of our community. To our residents and workers who have not yet claimed their free COVID-19 vaccine, our message is simple: don’t wait, vaccinate.”

Moving forward, the Mayor retains the authority to:

  • Receive federal reimbursement, as well as federal relief and recovery grants
  • Make personnel changes necessary to respond to the emergency
  • Alter government services – e.g., make changes to how services are provided to residents
  • Implement preventive measures for people who are medically vulnerable or experiencing homelessness
  • Establish/extend emergency grant authority for DMPED
  • Provide incentives to comply with public health recommendations
  • Establish mask requirements
  • Establish vaccination requirements
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