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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

DC Health to end distribution of free COVID-19 testing kits at public libraries

The+West+End+Library+officially+opened+Saturday+after+five+years+of+construction.
Hatchet File Photo
The West End Library officially opened Saturday after five years of construction.

DC Heath will no longer supply free COVID-19 self-testing kiosks and rapid tests to public libraries and senior centers starting Feb. 28, according to a District news release Friday.

DC Health said the end of the distribution of self-testing kits is due to a reported decrease in COVID cases and a decline in testing among D.C. residents since January 2022. The West End Library, north of campus, is currently listed as a COVID self-testing kit pickup location on DC Health’s website and will no longer provide tests after Feb. 28.

“These changes are in line with similar actions at the federal level as a result of falling COVID-19 case counts and the increased availability of testing and vaccine opportunities through medical offices, pharmacies and community health centers,” the release said.

DC Health currently categorizes COVID transmissions in D.C. as low, according to data from DC Health last week.

The District’s weekly reported case rate declined in early February to about 52 cases per 100,000 residents, while in early January officials reported about 75 cases per 100,000 residents, according to data from DC health. Hospital admissions due to COVID have also declined, with zero reported admissions on Feb. 11, according to data from DC Health.

DC Health said in the release that residents should stay “up to date” with their vaccinations and boosters to continue to protect themselves and others from COVID. The release said there are still plenty of locations to receive vaccines, boosters and rapid tests like DC Health COVID Centers, local pharmacies or health care providers.

Foggy Bottom residents can pick up free COVID self-testing kits at Ward 2’s COVID Center located at 926 F Street NW, according to DC Health’s website.

In January, the Biden administration announced that the federal government would end the national COVID emergency after May 11, transitioning the country out of the public health emergency.

The halt of the emergencies will cut off access to “special” Medicaid rules that provide extra funding to states and access to telehealth services and medications that many citizens, like veterans, rely on for a convenient way to receive care. Hospitals will also no longer obtain extra funding from Medicare to treat patients with COVID.

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