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Bowser Talks Unemployment Compensation, COVID Vaccines

Last Thursday, a technical issue occurred with the vendor responsible for processing unemployment benefits for the District. This caused approximately 39,000 individuals to not receive their weekly payment.

In Monday’s situational update report, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt and Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes spoke about last week’s unemployment compensation failure and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Unemployment Compensation Payments 

The District is working with the vendor at a multitude of different means of addressing this issue to ensure it does not happen again in the future.

Last week’s payments are expected to arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week and there are no further delays anticipated with the system this week.

“We terribly regret that this happened,” Bowser said. “We have a system that we are asking to do a lot of things and we will get that payment out as soon as possible.”

COVID-19 and Vaccines 

As the nation approaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths and the District approaches 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt spoke about the importance of the District’s programs to keep the community informed and safe.

“We aspire on a daily basis to reduce the number of lives lost,” Nesbitt said. “We want to make sure our public remains informed and know what it takes to remain ahead of this thing.”

As of Monday DC has received 105,575 doses of the vaccine and has administered over 92,000 doses. This week, the District will receive nearly 18,000 additional doses of the vaccine.

The District has now shifted from a high level of community spread down to a mid level of community spread.

New Samaritan Baptist Church will become the second faith-based partner with the District to distribute the vaccine. Information has not yet been shared about when the church will conduct clinics or about sign up.

Additionally, the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) is continuing to work with senior public hosuing properties to help vaccinate residents, staff and seniors.

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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