Mayor: Catch Up on Children’s Doctor Visits

Situational Update Report: August 5th

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A list of school-based health centers where students can get immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases. Photo courtesy DC Health 

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt urged families to seek pediatric care and vaccinations the pandemic possibly delayed. At the Wednesday, August 5 Situational Update, Nesbitt said delaying healthcare for children could lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles. 

“One pandemic is enough,” Nesbitt said. “We don’t want an epidemic during a pandemic.”

With the DCPS school year beginning virtually, Bowser said taking children for routine visits is essential for tracking development and social-emotional wellbeing. A child and adolescent immunization schedule is available at cdc.gov/vaccines. Residents can schedule an appointment with their primary care providers, or with eight school-based health centers, by phone. 

Positive COVID Tests After Family Gatherings

The District reported 45 new positive COVID-19 cases as of August 4. Nesbitt said the District is seeing more cases among younger residents. She added this population can often knowingly or unknowingly transmit the virus to vulnerable populations due to engagement in non-essential travel and recreational activities. 

Nesbitt said DC is experiencing similar trends as Maryland, where nearly half of those who were interviewed by contact tracers tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a family gathering. Nesbitt said 10 percent of people who test positive in DC report traveling within two weeks of diagnosis. An “increasing” number of local cases are related to people who have dined or traveled to a workplace while infectious, she added.

Asked whether officials would consider restricting indoor dining, Bowser said DC leaders are “watching very closely” several high-risk activities. 

Budget Concerns

In response to projections from the District’s Chief Financial Officer that DC could lose an additional $500 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2021 following pandemic-induced revenue shortfalls, Bowser said she remains committed to balancing the budget. 

“We’ve already cut the low hanging fruit [of] some programs and services that are very important to the prosperity of the district,” she said. “We will feel and see if we have to make additional cuts.”

Learn more about the annual operating budget here

Eva Herscowitz is a journalism student at Northwestern University currently interning with the Hill Rag. She writes for Northwestern’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. You can reach her at eva@hillrag.com