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Criminal justice advocates warned of death and devastation if the Department of Corrections did not have a pandemic plan for DC Jail. This a congregate setting where the coronavirus can spread quickly and whose population is vulnerable to getting very sick. Nationally, over 10 percent of people in prison are 55 years or older, and many have underlying medical conditions.   

On March 26, a 20-year-old man became the first individual to test positive for COVID-19 in DC Jail, and on April 13, Mayor Muriel Bowserannounced the first death of an individual in the city’s custody. His name was Deon Crowell, 51.    

“He was awaiting trial—he was innocent and never proven guilty,” his attorney Elizabeth Weller writes to City Paper’s Mitch Ryals. “There was no reason for him to die.”

Read the full story on Crowell online

So far, 56 individuals in DC Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. Approximately, 429 are in self-quarantine. At Wednesday’s press conference, Bowser listed several actions the DOC is taking to further protect individuals, including limiting movement inside DC Jail and screening everyone who enters the facility. She also says the DC Jail population has reduced by 22 percent. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips?

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • At Wednesday’s mayoral press conference, Bowser said she’ll extend the public health emergency, along with all the other mayoral orders, until at least May 15. She also announced that four people experiencing homelessness have died of the coronavirus disease. Four patients at St. Elizabeths Hospital, the city’s only public psychiatric hospital, died of COVID-19. [Twitter]  

  • As of April 14, D.C. reports that 72 residents have died due to COVID-19. The five residents whose deaths were announced on Wednesday ranged between 45 years old and 93, and 75 percent of the total people who have died were black. Approximately 2,197 individuals have tested positive for the disease while 11,525 have been tested overall. [EOM]   

  • Members of DC Mutual Aid Network say they are getting calls routed through the mayor’s COVID-19 hotline for residents who are homebound. [HillRag]

  • D.C. has been slow to close roads and make room for approved activities like walking and jogging. Frustrated by the city’s lack of “open streets,” residents are creating their own “pandemic protected sidewalks.” [Post]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips?

  • D.C.’s halfway house, Hope Village, is closing. Where will its residents go? [WAMU]

  • DC Public Schools gave up its federal Head Start grant. [Twitter]

  • Metro recommends wearing a mask if you’re taking public transportation. [WTOP]

  • Who’s on the June 2 primary ballot? [DC Line]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips?

  • How to be a better take-out and delivery customer, according to restaurants. [WCP]

  • Chinese restaurants are experienced with take-out. Why are so many of them closed? [WCP]

  • Worker says at least 12 employees at the P Street NW Whole Foods have COVID-19. [WUSA]

  • Meet the refugee cooks making meals for D.C.’s most vulnerable residents. [WAMU]

  • How Little Sesame found success during the pandemic by helping others. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips?

  • A new D.C. mural serves as a symbol of strength in crisis. [WCP]
  • Have some much-needed laughs at home with these podcasts and stand-up specials featuring local comedians. [DCist]
  • DIYers are taking the opportunity to complete long-unfinished projects and redecorations at home. [Washingtonian]  

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips?

  • Members of the World Series champion Nationals reunited on a Zoom call streamed on Facebook Live last night to help raise more than $200,000 for medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a booze-filled, entertaining four-plus hours. (Co-host Ryan Zimmerman, who got emotional during the championship rally,talked about how he cries often after the birth of his daughter. And Brian Dozier showed up shirtless and started banging on a trash can while the team watched a replay of Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.)[Facebook, Yahoo, Post

  • Two days before the WNBA Draft, the Mystics have acquired former WNBA MVP Tina Charles in exchange for four of their draft picks, including the 12th overall pick. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Just days after suspending its operations, the XFL has filed for bankruptcy. [ESPN]

  • Washington Spirit’s Craig Hoffman and midfielder Jaye Boissiere will chat with epidemiologist and public health expert Abdul El-Sayed tonight at 6:30 p.m. streamed live on Twitch. [Twitter]

  • U.S. Olympians are finding different and creative ways to train at home. [Post

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips?

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