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Bowser Talks Post Inauguration Security, Vaccine Updates

During Thursday’s situational update, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Metro Police Department (MPD) Police Chief Robert Contee, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt and Director of Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) Christopher Rodriguez spoke about updates to the inauguration perimeter in the wake of a peaceful ceremony and updates to the District’s vaccine rollout. 

Bowser thanked the law enforcement and secret service officers for their assistance during, and in the weeks leading up to, the inauguration. 

“I was pleased that our requests to make the event safer were (enacted) by the federal government,” Bowser said.  

Yesterday evening, crews began the removal process of the fencing on major streets and opening garages. Bowser said she expects the entire process will take around 36 hours and asks for the continued patience of DC residents as this takes place. 

The District plans on maintaining “some guard presence through Jan. 30th,” Bowser said, but many of the National Guard Troops are now being sent back to their regular assignments. 

Beginning 5 a.m., Friday Jan. 22, indoor dining in restaurants will be allowed to seat at 25 percent capacity following the inauguration pause instituted earlier in the month. 

Finally Bowser asked for community support in the process of returning to normal, asking local businesses to remove any remaing boards from windows. 

“As we break down these barriers and fences we ask that everyone join with us,” Bowser said. “The quicker that we get back to some sense of normalcy will be in the best interest of our city.” 

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout 

As of Thursday morning, 62,200 vaccines have been delivered, 41,000 have been administered and 6,500 additional doses will become available this week. Bowser expressed satisfaction with the vaccine rollout process and said 

“The numbers make it clear that we’re getting the doses out,” Bowser said. “We simply don’t have the amount of vaccines to meet the demand in our city.” 

Starting Jan. 25, in-person staff at DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

DC Council held a public hearing on DCPS reopening the afternoon of Jan. 21.

Bowser emphasized that the phases of the vaccine are being administered based on the prevention of morbidity and mortality as well as the preservation of societal functions. 

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 sarahp@hillrag.com.

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