By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
Despite the continued spread of COVID-19, the nation’s capital entered its second phase of reopening on June 22, meaning that non-essential businesses and restaurants are open for indoor shopping and dining at 50 percent of occupancy, and requiring clientele to wear masks and maintain social distancing protocol- remaining at least six-feet apart.
“We want to continue to reiterate that it is imperative that D.C. residents use good judgment and follow social distancing guidelines for any of the new activities that they are participating in,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has continuously warned that new coronavirus cases will arise with the phased reopening process.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that Washington, D.C. officially entered Phase 2 of reopening on June 22, opening non-essential retailers and the DMV by appointment only. (Courtesy Photo)
With more than 10,000 D.C. residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus, and over 530 Washingtonians losing their lives to the disease, Mayor Bowser is emphasizing the continued need for COVID-19 testing.
“We also want to reiterate that can get a test if they need a test at locations throughout the District during the day and into the evening,” she said.
Notwithstanding continued COVID-19 cases, as part of Phase 2, Bowser is opening more District agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which will offer services by appointment only for required in-person services.
“DMV service centers will open for in-person services at all locations, all of the DMV service centers beginning . I want to be clear however, that you need an appointment to go in person to the DMV. So you will need to go to dmv.dc.gov to make an appointment,” the Mayor explained.
First time license and real ID conversions, first time title and registration of a vehicle and knowledge testing are all considered required in-person DMV services.
Although service centers are open by appointment, the Mayor said many DMV needs can still be met online.
“You don’t have to rush. Everybody doesn’t have to go at the same time. All documents expiring on or after March 1 are still valid and will be valid at least through mid-September, and that’s 45 days after the current end of the public health emergency,” Bowser said.
“So please skip the trip. Everybody doesn’t need to go in person… Everything else at the DMV can be done online,” the Mayor added.
In addition to DMV service centers, adjudication services, the Brentwood Commercial Driving License (CDL) office, inspection stations and self-service kiosks also opened on June 22.
However, adults are not the only group of people benefiting from the reopening.
“Also opening… are our playgrounds across the District. So I’m told if those playgrounds aren’t unlocked, they will be by the end of today,” Bowser said at her daily press conference.
As the mother of a toddler, Bowser reminded parents and caregivers about keeping their children safe during the pandemic. “Our reminder to caregivers is to frequently clean, minors, children’s and your hands and faces. Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer is appropriate for use on a playground,” the Mayor said.