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COVID-19 has ravaged workers at meat processing plants across the country. At least 30 meatpacking workers have died due to COVID-19, and more than 10,000 workers have been infected, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Serious safety issues at these plants compelled many plants to close—and this is inevitably impacting the D.C. restaurants who serve you burgers and cheesesteaks.     

City Paper’s Sabrina Medora reports local restaurants are being hit by having to pay more for meat. Bub and Pop’s Chef Jonathan Taub saw a very high increase, from $3.25 per pound of beef to $7.50. Restaurants are barely hanging on right now, so it’s hard for chefs to cover their costs and even harder for them to pass on the price to customers. 

“I can only raise my prices so much before it gets ridiculous,” says Chef Alex McCoy of Lucky Buns. “I’d have to pivot to something like chicken sandwiches or Impossible meats.”

After having to pivot to take-out to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, restaurants are now forced to get creative. Again. The pandemic is changing some people’s relationships with meat, so more might be purchasing veggie options anyways. Not everyone is struggling; restaurants who have a relationship with local farms and co-ops may fare better, as few have needed to increase prices for meat. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • At Wednesday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the stay-at-home order from May 15 to June 8. The Bowser administration is looking at a number of metrics to decide when to begin gradually reopening D.C. They include a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases, a capacity to test select priority groups, a health care system operating without needing to use surge beds or ventilators, and sufficient contact tracing. D.C. is already meeting one metric: hospitals have been below 80 percent occupancy for 14 days. “Based on data, I can revise this order at any time,” Bowser said. [Twitter, Twitter]

  • D.C. reported 14 additional deaths related to COVID-19. At least 350 residents have died to COVID-19, and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner is looking back at old cases from as early as December to see if there were any COVID-19 deaths that the city missed. As of May 12, 6,584 of the 31,658 people tested turned up positive results. [EOM

  • House Democrats gave D.C. funding that it was previously denied in their latest COVID relief package. The Republican-controlled Senate and White House dismissed the package as a wish list. [Post]

  • The infection rate for D.C. residents with intellectual disabilities is seven times higher than that of the general population. Now, their caregivers are struggling to care for them. [WAMU]

  • About 60 percent of jobs in the D.C. region cannot be done from home. [GGW]

  • Charter schools have been tightlipped about receiving help from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Oversight officials don’t know how many got aid. [Post

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Participate in our voters’ guide by telling us what you want us to ask local politicians. [WCP]

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar endorsed Jordan Grossman in Ward 2. [Twitter]

  • More than 47,000 people have requested absentee ballots. The deadline to do so is May 26. [Twitter, BOE]

  • A rally demanding Mayor Muriel Bowser reopen the city is planned for tomorrow in front of the Wilson Building. [Facebook, Twitter]

  • Metro’s reopening plan. [WAMU]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The Inn at Little Washington will seat mannequins in its dining room when it reopens. [Washingtonian]

  • Roaming Rooster gets another nod for its stellar fried chicken sandwiches. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • D.C. nonprofit People. Animals. Love. is inviting children to read to therapy dogs via Zoom. [Post]

  • Postreporter Geoff Edgers is broadcasting his virtual time with celebrities on Instagram. [Washingtonian]

  • Hair salons prepare for an extended shutdown in Northern Virginia. [DCist]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • According to ESPN, The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls is averaging 5.6 million viewers across its eight episodes so far. City Paper caught up with longtime NBA reporter David Aldridge, who is featured in several episodes, to talk about the series, what it was like covering Jordan as a beat writer for the Post, and what he thinks younger viewers should take away from the documentary. [WCP]

  • Bradley Beal, who has been outspoken about social justice issues in the past, questioned why some American citizens feel the need to walk around with automatic assault rifles and grenade launchers. Photos of armed protestors have gone viral, including a man in North Carolina ordering from Subway with what appears to be a rocket launcher on his back. “If you like ARs and all that. Take your ass to the military!” Beal tweeted. [Twitter]

  • Galin Smith, a transfer from Alabama, has committed to Maryland, giving the Terps much needed front court depth. [Testudo Times]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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