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Our print issue isn’t out this week, but we’re still reporting on the local news. Our team is busy preparing our annual Best of D.C. issue, which will launch in print and on our new website on Thursday, September 17th. More than 100,000 ballots were cast in a record-breaking year for us. We hope that you’ll pick up the issue and visit our newly redesigned website to celebrate our winners!
D.C. residents will soon be able to learn if they came in close contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19, if they opt in to a coronavirus tracking program created by Apple and Google. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the public should expect more information about how the program will work later this month.
Virginia residents can already participate in the program via a smartphone application. Apple and Google recently made it easier for residents to participate by sending notices directly to individuals’ phones and asking them if they want to install the tool so they can receive “exposure notifications.” Now, D.C. and Maryland are going to participate in the program.
How it works: If someone chooses to launch the technology on their iPhone or Android device and tests positive for the disease, they can enter their positive results into the system using a “unique authentication code,” according to the New York Times. And when this individual comes in close proximity to others, an automatic notification will be sent to those close contacts who activated the tool on their phones via the app or software installation.
“It does not track you,” said DC Health Director. Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt during Wednesday’s press conference.
“We are really excited about this,” added Nesbitt. “It will augment some of the work done here through some of our contact tracing and disease investigation work. It does not replace that work.”
Apple and Google say they are committed to users’ privacy and will not collect identifying data. Due to Bluetooth technology, the companies are able to rely on anonymous identifiers.
Local civil liberties advocates have expressed concerns about privacy and surveillance around D.C.’s contract tracing efforts. That’s why Nassim Moshiree, the policy director of the ACLU-DC, strongly recommended that the Bowser administration have a “public input process before going forward with adopting any digital tools.”
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- As of Sept. 10, D.C. reported one additional death related to COVID-19—a 28 year old man—and 25 new positive cases bringing the total numbers of people to 616 and 14,412, respectively. [EOM]
- Bowser says small groups of students should return to DC Public Schools later this month, given that charters are making it work. [Post]
- Attorney General Karl Racine sues seven landlords and property managers in Wards 4 and 8 for discriminating against residents based on race, disability, and source of income. [Street Sense]
- A history professor at George Washington University who pretended to be Black resigns. [Hatchet]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
- Five Latinx candidates are on the ballot for an at-large Council seat, a sixth is running for the Ward 2 seat. [Informer]
- Two D.C. councilmembers look to block Mayor Bowser’s $1 million reviewing stand. [Twitter]
- The Office of Campaign Finance announces debate schedule for Fair Elections candidates. [DC Line]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- A fond farewell to Eighteenth Street Lounge. [Dish City]
- Taïm opens in Dupont Circle with a menu of Israeli food. [Eater DC]
- How Fava Pot Owner Dina Daniel is handling the pandemic. [Arlington Magazine]
- The Roost from Neighborhood Restaurant Group finally launches on Capitol Hill. [WBJ]
- Celebrity Chef David Chang, who grew up in the area, wrote a memoir. [Eater]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? email@example.com)
- Arts links will return next week.
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- In a conversation with City Paper, Zach Leonsis, the senior vice president of strategic initiatives for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, says that “esports is growing so rapidly that esport athletes can and likely will be paid just as much as professional athletes in the major leagues within the next 10 years.” [WCP]
- The Nats are 16-25. FiveThirtyEight gives the team a 9 percent chance to make the playoffs. FanGraphs puts it at 3 percent. So, basically, they’re saying there’s a chance. [Federal Baseball]
- Ron Rivera says the Washington Football Team running back group “is going to be by committee.” [Hogs Haven]
- The recently released music video for D.C. artist Cecily’s “Clumsy” is anything but.
- The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ online exhibition Through Our Eyes couldn’t be timelier.