WASHINGTON (WDVM) — On Friday, May 21, most of the COVID-19 restrictions in place for the District of Columbia will be lifted. This is happening the same week that new mask guidance was released from the Mayor’s office.
While much of the city is excited to see life start to return to normal, many are concerned over the restriction lift because of the number of unvaccinated people in the District. Current data on D.C. Health’s website shows that an estimated 49 percent of residents are partially vaccinated, with only 35 percent of residents fully vaccinated.
When the vaccination numbers are broken down by ward, wards five, seven and eight are behind other wards by over 20 percent. This disparity is causing concern, as people are worried about unvaccinated people enjoying the restriction lift while not wearing masks, leading to COVID-19 metrics in the city trending in the wrong direction.
Reporters asked Mayor Muriel Bowser if she and the city had any plans to keep COVID-19 metrics from trending back up, or keeping case numbers down, and the mayor’s answer was simple.
She said, “It could lead to an increase in cases, OK. So, my message to people is, going into the world without a vaccination at this point, in D.C., in Virginia, Maryland or anywhere else you would go, you introduce yourself to a lot of risk. The way to reduce that risk is to get vaccinated.”
The mayor is holding another community day of action where groups will canvas areas with low vaccination rates and help people sign up to get their shot. This will take place on Saturday, May 22.