By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Summer is officially here, the Fourth of July weekend is underway and stores shelves are filled with decorations and foods for people to have events and cookouts.   However, the COVID-19 pandemic continues and local officials are warning residents to continue to remain safe despite the feel-good time of year.

“As we prepare for the holiday weekend, I will continue to remind Washingtonians that this virus still exists.  It’s still circulating and you can contract the virus in any of your activities,” Bowser said at a press conference on June 30.

With the Fourth of July weekend underway, Mayor Muriel Bowser and District leaders are encouraging outside celebrations and continued social distancing. (Courtesy Photo)

“We are clearly very encouraged by how we have blunted the curve in D.C., and also in Maryland and Virginia, but we know that we are still reporting new cases, so we have to continue to be vigilant,” the Mayor explained.

As part of the city’s emphasis on safety, Dr. Pretha Iyengar, a medical officer at D.C. Health, created a video to explain the nuances of mask safety.

“As the District begins to reopen, it’s important to remember that face coverings help to protect you and others in the community from COVID-19,” Dr. Iyengar says in the video, before offering a tutorial of putting on and removing masks.  

While using masks might seem pretty self-explanatory, Iyengar’s tutorial lasts over a minute, reminding viewers to wash their hands before putting on and removing masks as well as not touching masks during use.

In a press conference, Mayor Bowser championed Iyengar’s video as a helpful resource for Washingtonians as the pandemic continues, and particularly as residents begin to socialize more.

Particularly considering gatherings over the holiday weekend, Bowser offered suggestions for residents to stay safe.

 “We are encouraging D.C. residents to celebrate the Fourth of July either from home or close to home,” the Mayor said.

“We know from health professionals that outdoor activities are preferred over indoor activities, but the virus can still spread in the outdoors as well,” she added.

“So if you are hosting people this weekend, or if you are going to someone else’s home, even if everyone is outside, you still need to consider how much space you will have to social distance, and don’t invite more people than you have the space for.  And if you are invited to a gathering and realize that it isn’t safe for people to social distance, then you may need to make new plans for yourself and family to keep yourself safe,” the Mayor explained.

 

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor