From Mary Cheh <[email protected]>
Subject Coronavirus Update: Persistent Issues, DCFACES, & Rock Creek
Date August 7, 2020 4:42 PM
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August 7, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Persistent Issues, DCFACES, & Rock Creek

Dear Neighbors,

On August 1st, the Council entered into the summer recess period. This is a
time where committees conduct much of the research and legislative drafting
for new bills to be introduced in the fall as well as continue work on
existing bills, committee projects, and Councilmember priorities. Until the
summer recess concludes on September 7th, we will be unable to hold any
hearings or introduce new legislation. Of course, my office remains open
during this time, constituent services are available, and I will continue
to share coronavirus and Ward 3 updates. On that note, I wanted to share
some information on the more persistent and continuing issues that
residents report to me:

Confusion over the Mask Order - There has been some confusion over the
exact legal requirements of the Mayor's mask mandate. And while there is
some nuance to the [1]text of the order and scenarios where you wouldn't be
required to wear a mask (such as working alone in a closed-door private
office), the simplest way of communicating its intent is to say that when
you leave your home, wear a mask. When in doubt, wear a mask. Infection
rates among those dining out and those in the workplace are on the rise, so
there is no harm in wearing a mask beyond the legal requirement. It may
help keep you, and others, safe.

COVID-19 Test Result Delays - As with the rest of the country, the District
has experienced delays in the turnaround time for residents to receive
their coronavirus testing results. While this is primarily due to the
extreme influx of tests at processing labs, there have been some recent
improvements and the District-wide average turnaround time is now 3-5 days.
Once you are tested, CDC guidelines recommend that you self-quarantine
while awaiting results. To inquire about your testing results, please
contact: [2][email protected]

Licensing Concerns & the DMV - All Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV)
documents with an expiration date on/after March 1st will remain valid
until 45 days after the public health emergency concludes. Eligible
documents include driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle
registrations, inspections, ticket payments, and ticket adjudication
responses. Your license, registration and inspection are still valid and
have been automatically granted a waiver (without penalty) until the DMV
reopens at full operating capacity. If you are traveling, it is recommended
that you print out and carry the [3]DMV's extension memo with you for
verification purposes.

Voting Safely in November - Unlike in the Primary Election, ballots will be
automatically mailed to every registered voter in the District. To help
with this process, please ensure that your mailing address and voter
registration is [4]up to date. Not only will residents be able to vote at
any voting center, but a minimum of 80 voting sites will be open for the
General Election. The Board of Elections (BOE) will also open a number of
early voting centers, which, if you choose to vote in person, I strongly
encourage you to take advantage of as they traditionally have the shortest
(if any) wait time. BOE has not yet announced when they will begin mailing
ballots, but I will continue to share details as they are released
(including information about the new ballot drop-off boxes).

Regards,

Mary

Please see [5]coronavirus.dc.gov for the latest District updates &
resources on COVID-19

If you know someone who would like to receive these updates directly, he or
she may sign up through [6]marycheh.com

A Sneak Peek at the Newly Renovated MLK Library

Beautiful Renovation Almost Complete - Last week, Councilmember Cheh toured
the newly renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library that is
scheduled to reopen to the public this September. Not only will the
building be better situated to host local groups and provide community
spaces, but it features stunning artwork, a green roof, outdoor seating,
expansive children's areas (including a wooden slide!), and numerous
community labs for resident projects--such as a 'Memory lab' where
residents may digitize old VHS tapes, photos, and CDs. This historic
building has undergone a beautiful transformation. To learn more about this
project, please see: [7]MLK Jr. Library Modernization.

DCPS Parents: Please Take the Technology Survey

[8]

Technology Needs - Public schools will be all-virtual for the first term of
the fall 2020-2021 school year. The first term runs from Monday, August
31st through Friday, November 6th, at which point the Mayor, DC Health, and
DC Public Schools (DCPS) will reevaluate the District's coronavirus data to
determine whether it will be safe enough to introduce a hybrid model of
virtual and in-person learning for students. Access to technology will be
critical to the fall term's success.

To help DCPS evaluate student access to laptops and tablets for full time
virtual learning, parents are asked to share their children(s)'s technology
needs through the following online survey: [9]Request A Technology Device.

Back to School: Support The Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Ready to Learn - Every fall, the Homeless Children's Playtime Project
(HCPP) ensures Playtime children receive brand-new backpacks stuffed with
grade-appropriate school supplies so they can start the new school year
prepared and confident. While the upcoming school year is starting online,
children living in shelters still need school supplies—including masks and
hand sanitizer—to ensure they have what they need to rise to the challenge
of distance learning during the pandemic. For everyone's safety, HCPP is
not able to receive backpacks from the community and hold their yearly
backpack-stuffing event. However, there are plenty of ways to support their
back to school support efforts. Click on the link below to learn more:

[10]Play Equity & Back to School

The District's COVID-19 Statistics at a glance

Protect Others, Protect Yourself - While the rapid spread of coronavirus in
other states may make headlines, it is important to remember that
coronavirus is also very much present in the District of Columbia.

As of yesterday, August 5th, the District experienced 75 new positive
cases, bringing our overall positive case total to [11]12,518 people. To
date, 587 District residents have lost their lives due to COVID-19. In Ward
3, we have lost 33 of our neighbors to this virus. These statistics only
underscore the importance of reducing the spread by wearing a mask,
maintaining social distancing, and frequent hand washing.

Below are some charts that include the District's latest COVID-19 data:

Aggregated Total COVID-19 Cases Sorted by Age & Gender

Total Deaths due to COVID-19 Sorted by Race

Total Deaths due to COVID-19 Sorted by Age

Stay Safe & Stay Out of Rock Creek

From WAMU - Can you swim in Rock Creek? Washingtonians aren't waiting for
an answer

"[12]Public pools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many D.C.
residents don’t have other options for relief from this summer’s stifling
heat...Nearby, newly installed signs in English and Spanish warned about
the reason why swimming is outlawed: Bacteria...There are lots of culprits
for Rock Creek’s pollution, depending on where you’re standing.

North of Piney Branch (near the National Zoo), stormwater pipes in D.C. and
Maryland funnel untreated runoff from yards, sidewalks and homes into the
creek. That water can be contaminated with dog poop, goose poop, deer
poop...Runoff from agricultural land in Montgomery County and century-old
leaky sewers in the park also contribute to contamination.

Below Piney Branch, there are more than two dozen [13]combined sewer
outfalls. Essentially, stormwater gets funneled into the same pipes that
carry raw sewage. After a heavy rain, those pipes, by design, overflow into
Rock Creek.

All these sewer and runoff issues combine to create one very dirty creek,
particularly after storms..."

[14]Read & Listen to the Full Story

Wilson High School Name Change & Survey

Looking Forward - Amid the national call to remove Confederate statues and
better use public spaces to celebrate diverse figures in history, the Mayor
has convened a Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) working
group to evaluate the names of District-owned facilities and make
recommendations for sites that warrant a name change. DCFACES will
consider/evaluate all DC Government-owned streets, buildings (libraries,
schools, recreation centers, etc.), parks, statues, and other named public
spaces.

The goal of this working group greatly compliments the work already started
by the Ward 3-based [15]DC Justice and History Collective to rename Woodrow
Wilson High School. To aid in the Collective's efforts, last month
Councilmember Cheh introduced a Sense of the Council Resolution (with all
of her colleagues signing on in support) on the name change proposal. A
hearing for this legislation has already been scheduled for September 15th.

DCFACES has released a community survey for residents to note any locations
and priorities for the working group. Please help us flag Wilson as a
community priority (and make your own additional recommendations) by
filling out the survey here:

[16]DCFACES Survey

Summer COVID-19 Testing Schedule

Free, Walk-Up Public Testing - For the remainder of the summer, the
Anacostia, UDC-CC Bertie Backus, and Judiciary Square public testing sites
will open from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Firehouse
testing will continue to operate from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday through
Friday, and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Please Note: If the heat index hits 100 degrees, the daytime walk-up sites
will close. If a heat emergency is declared or there inclement weather in
the evening, firehouse testing sites may also close. Closure decisions will
be made by location, so please check [17]online before heading out for
testing.

Anacostia, UDC-CC Bertie Backus, and Judiciary Square Testing Schedule:

[18]

Firehouse Testing Schedule:

Metro's COVID-19 Recovery Plan

More Buses, Trains, & Extended Hours - This month, Metro will restore most
of its Metrorail and Metrobus service to pre-COVID-19 levels. Customers are
required to wear masks/face coverings when traveling with Metro, a
requirement that extends to stations, trains, buses, and MetroAccess
vehicles. As ridership increases, social distancing may be increasingly
difficult on trains and buses, so residents should consider traveling
during off-peak hours and using other travel alternatives (such as walking
or biking) whenever possible. Upcoming [19]service changes are listed
below:

Effective Sunday, August 16th: Metrorail will open at 5 am weekdays, 7 am
on Saturdays, and 8 am on Sundays. Metrorail will close daily at 11 pm.
* Weekday Red Line trains will operate every 5 minutes during peak
periods and 12 minutes off-peak; all other lines will operate every 8
minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes off-peak
* Weekend Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes; all other lines
will operate every 15 minutes

Effective Sunday, August 23rd: Metrobus service will operate beginning at 4
am and end at midnight daily with rear-door boarding remaining in effect.

Ending this Update on a Happy Note:

Humane Rescue Alliance & A Little Soap Save the Day

Sly as a Fox Stuck in a Fence - On Wednesday morning, the Humane Rescue
Alliance (HRA) received a call that a fox was helplessly lodged in a fence
off Albemarle St, NW. The key to helping the fox squeeze his head out of
the iron? Soap! After assessing that he was unharmed by the incident,
animal control officers released him back into the wild. A very big 'thank
you' to Senior Animal Control Officer Elesha Young and Animal Control
Officer Christina Best for responding to the call and helping protect our
local wildlife!

If you see an animal in need, please contact the [20]Humane Rescue Alliance
at 202-576-6664

Animal Control Officers are able to respond to emergencies and coordinate
with [21]City Wildlife to provide care and rehabilitation to
injured/orphaned wildlife in the District. To read further on other recent
wildlife rescue efforts, see DCist's piece, [22]D.C. Strangers Banded
Together To Help A Struggling Squirrel And Her Babies.

Our Office is Open!

Connect with our staff - While Councilmember Cheh's physical office is
closed during the public health emergency, she and her staff are
teleworking and will remain accessible for residents.

You may continue to reach us via phone through our main line at (202)
724-8062 with legislative ideas, budget requests, and constituent services
requests.

[23]Facebook [24]Twitter

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References

1. [link removed]'s Order 2020-080 Wearing Masks in DC to Prevent COVID19.pdf
2. mailto:[email protected]
3. [link removed] credential extension update.pdf
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Mary Cheh
Mary Cheh Ward 3
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NWSuite 108
Washington, DC 20004
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