WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser updated the District on extended inauguration security at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Monday, Mayor Bowser made several requests from the federal government to increase inauguration day security. Bowser provided updates on these requests.
“Certainly this time last year we didn’t expect to be in this situation,” said Bowser. “Even last week, we didn’t expect to be starting this early.”
Mayor Bowser’s request to cancel public gathering permits and to deny further applications has been an ongoing discussion with the Department of the Interior.
President Trump made a pre-emergency declaration for the District Monday shortly after the Mayor requested the declaration.
The Department of Homeland Security extended the National Special Security Event period to begin Wednesday, Jan. 13, instead of Jan. 19 as initially planned.
Beginning 6 a.m. Friday, parking garages in restricted zones will be closed, and vehicles left in these garages will be inaccessible until after the inauguration.
Construction of physical barriers are underway and the inauguration perimeter will be active days before the inauguration, unlike previous inaugurations. Mayor Bowser asked residents to expect to be stopped and asked questions regarding their business in the perimeter.
“Certainly this time last year we didn’t expect to be in this situation,” said Bowser of the advanced preparations. “Even last week, we didn’t expect to be starting this early.”
Mayor Bowser also announced that all 6,700 appointments available this week for COVID-19 vaccines for residents 65 and older were taken by midday Monday, the day they were made available.
Bowser urged residents not to visit vaccination clinics without an appointment.
On Wednesday, D.C. reported 177 new positive COVID-19 cases and six new COVID-19 related deaths.