DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt spoke during Wednesday afternoon’s situational update about the District’s preparations for the 59th Presidential inauguration and the vaccine rollout.
Bowser emphasized the importance that DC residents, and all Americans, stay home and watch the inauguration virtually.
“We have asked Americans not to come to Washington for the event,” Bowser said. “We know that is the right choice and the best way to keep everyone safe.”
In preparation for the inauguration, a perimeter has been established around the Capitol, National Mall and White House areas. Anyone entering the perimeter may be subject to screening and asked what their essential purpose within the perimeter is. Bowser said the perimeter is similar to that of previous inaugurations, but this year’s will be operational for several days.
While Bowser’s requests for a pre-Emergency Declaration by the President and extension of the National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been met, Bowser said there are still ongoing discussions about the cancellation of all public gathering permits during the period of Jan. 11 through Jan. 24.
Beginning Friday at 6:00 a.m., all parking garages within the restricted zone will be blocked off and all parked vehicles must remain until after the inauguration. Residents and businesses receiving deliveries will be advised of an alternate location and information about additional road closures and other restrictions will be announced this week.
In addition to public safety concerns related to the Capitol insurrection, Bowser is also extending the pause on several phase two activities through Jan. 22. DC residents are asked to avoid the Central Business District downtown unless they are there for essential work.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Bowser expressed excitement about the 6,700 DC residents who signed up this week to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Bowser said that all appointments were filled by the early afternoon on Monday and said more appointment times would become available as the District receives more doses of the vaccine from the federal government.
Bowser encouraged all residents to make an appointment online (vaccinate.dc.gov) or over the phone to minimize crowds and ensure adequate social distancing at the vaccination sites.
For updates about the inauguration, text INAUG2021 to 888-777.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected]