D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Letter from Mayor Muriel Bowser

Dear Seniors:

We have come a long way – not just in the fight against COVID-19, but in our efforts to keep DC moving forward, even during the ups and downs of the pandemic. And while we have a lot to be hopeful about in 2022, our work isn’t over.

First, we still need more Washingtonians to get vaccinated and to get their booster shots. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated people with boosters are 10 times less likely than unvaccinated people to get infected with COVID-19; fully vaccinated people with boosters are 2.5 times less likely to get infected with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people without boosters, and four times less likely to die from COVID-19; and fully vaccinated people with boosters are 20 times less likely than unvaccinated people to die from COVID-19.

So, if you are not yet vaccinated, it is critical that you do that as soon as possible. If you are vaccinated, but not yet boosted, please go get your booster shot. I also need your help in making sure our younger generations get vaccinated. Youth five and older are eligible for the vaccine, and people 12 and older are eligible for a booster. And it’s never been easier to get the vaccine. If you call 1-855-363-0333, you can make an appointment to have DC Health come to your home! And we now have COVID Centers open across the city. These sites have vaccines, boosters, free rapid tests, and walkup PCR tests. These are in addition to the dozens of libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers that have free testing options – all of which can be found at NeedATest-GetATest.com. All of the information about vaccines and testing is available on coronavirus.dc.gov or you can call the number above and someone will help you find the information you need.

And why is it so important to me that more Washingtonians get vaccinated? The obvious answer is because the vaccines save lives and because no DC resident should needlessly lose their life to COVID-19 when we have safe and effective vaccines available. Already, too many families are dealing with the grief and loss caused by this pandemic. We can prevent more tragedy.

But more people vaccinated also allows our classrooms to stay open so that our young people can get the school experiences they deserve. More people vaccinated means fewer people suffering in the hospital and less strain on our health care workers. More people vaccinated means we are one step closer to getting back to a better normal and ending the isolation and loneliness that so many have experienced.

Speaking of staying connected, if you are feeling isolated or alone, I encourage you to join the Department of Aging and Community Living’s Call and Talk program. DACL launched the Call and Talk program back in March 2020 and has been keeping seniors connected and engaged ever since. The program is a new way, during these unique times, to create and maintain friendships and connections with members of the community. If you are interested in joining the Call and Talk program or if you have any other questions about resources and services for older Washingtonians, including programming at our senior wellness centers or connections to meals program, please call (202) 724-5626.

With gratitude,

Mayor Muriel Bowser

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Rapid Antigen Tests Are Now Available at Senior Wellness Centers

Mayor Bowser and DC Health announced that District residents ages 65 and older are now able to pick up rapid antigen tests at six senior wellness centers. Seniors are able pick up two rapid tests per person, per day. On days that centers have rapid tests, free tests are available from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. For more information, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

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