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DC Public Schools will close to students beginning March 16. The closures will impact about 52,000 students and their families. The plan is to reopen April 1.

Spring break will start early for students, lasting from March 17 to March 23. Then, through the remainder of the month, class will be taught online. Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee tells the Post learning resources will be available both offline and online. 

Educators are scrambling to try to address the city’s internet divide, where 25 percent of residents lack broadband access and 17 percent lack access to a computerThese individuals primarily live in Wards 5, 7, and8, and are residents of color..  

And what about students who depend on schools for free meals? Educators are having to address D.C.’s food insecurity too. Meals will be available to all students (those who attend traditional and charter schools) at the following locations weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Anacostia High School, Banneker High School, Cardozo Education Campus, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Coolidge High School, Jefferson Middle School Academy, Eastern Senior High School, Ballou High School, McKinley Education Campus, Brookland Middle School, and Woodson High School. 

Public charter schools, where nearly half of public students go (or about 50,000 students), do not have to follow DCPS but likely will. Already many of the 123 charter campuses have temporarily closed, including the largest charter network, KIPP DC. Per its Friday announcement, KIPP campuses will close between March 16 and March 31. 

City Paper staff is regularly updating our CANCELED story. Today’s DCPS changes are included, along with what’s been cancelled in the arts, sports, food, and tourism industry. Notice something that is not included in the post? Reach out! We’d like to know how this epidemic is impacting our readers so always feel free to reach out with questions, tips, even criticism on how we are delivering. I am personally interested in COVID-19 testing—who’s already been tested and who wants to be but was denied. Contact us by replying to this newsletter or emailing me directly. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • COVID-19 update: 

    • As of March 11, 10 people have tested positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. The mayor will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. [GOV]

    • Taxes update: Try to file electronically. [OTR]

    • D.C. jail will remain open to visitors, but everyone (including staff) will be screened. [Twitter]

    • The Post’s liveblog on COVID-19 is no longer behind a paywall. [Twitter]

    • Covenant House needs donations to help youth experiencing homelessness. [Twitter]

    • A thread on how people are helping one another during the pandemic. [Twitter

  • “Ghost gun” legislation signed into law. [Post]

  • ICYMI: A look inside D.C.’s tiered health care system. [WCP]

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

  • D.C. Council will take up legislation to address the impact of the coronavirus, including the possibility of virtual votes. [WCP]

  • The Virginia legislature passed a $135 billion two-year budget despite concerns from Senate Republicans. [Times-Dispatch]

  • Effort to decriminalize magic mushrooms will pause signature gathering due to the coronavirus. [Twitter]

  • AG Karl Racine is on the Politics Hour this afternoon. [Kojo]

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

  • Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the restaurant industry. How to help your favorite places, besides dining out. [WCP]

  • Why a local restaurant group is serving lots of lobster as coronavirus covers the globe: “We saw an opportunity to help these fisherman out and started buying product.” [WCP]

  • Restaurants rush to add delivery to reach would-be customers who are staying home. [Washingtonian]

  • Critic Tom Sietsema tries Albi in Navy Yard. [Post]

  • The James Beard Awards are postponed. [Eater]

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

  • The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is quietly rolling out a new name. [WCP]

  • Here’s a local musician playlist for working from home. [DCist]

  • And here’s some books recommended by local shops to read while you’re home. [WAMU]

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

  • One day after the NBA suspended the rest of its season because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL, MLS, and XFL suspended play. The NCAA canceled all winter and spring championships, including March Madness. [CBS Sports]

  • U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned after a number of women’s soccer players and U.S. Soccer sponsors criticized the misogynistic legal argument that the organization filed in its defense against a gender discrimination lawsuit. U.S. Soccer vice president Cindy Parlow Cone will replace Cordeiro. [Yahoo]

  • Wizards players have been told to self-quarantine for two to four days. [NBC4]

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

City Lights will be on hiatus while D.C. navigates the COVID-19 global pandemic. If you know of an event that’s been canceled, let us know at tips@washingtoncitypaper.com. 

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