- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 4, 2023

The COVID-19 centers operated by the D.C. Department of Health will have their final day of operation on March 31, 2023, the agency announced Friday.

The significant drop in COVID-19 cases within the District and concurrent rise in vaccinations provided the impetus for the impending closures. 

First opened in January 2022, the COVID-19 centers provided D.C. residents with masks, rapid antigen tests, PCR tests, and vaccines for free.

The COVID-19 centers provided over one million masks, more than 80,000 shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, its boosters, and the flu vaccine, more than 400,000 rapid antigen tests, and more than 40,000 PCR tests.

“And as we are coming out of the public health emergency — we’ve been out for some time in the District and the federal government is coming out — and we see demand at those centers going down, it’s time now to shift those resources to other ways that we keep people healthy in the District,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told WTOP.

Residents in need of those items and services after March 31 will be able to obtain them at local pharmacies. 

Other options include finding free testing and vaccination locations on websites operated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or getting tests from the federal government. U.S. citizens are eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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