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“If you need a test, get a test,” Mayor Muriel Bowser has said time and time again. To access free, public testing sites across the city, you just need to experience a symptom of COVID-19 or be exposed. 

Have you been out protesting? Because there’s still a lot of circulating virus and it’s challenging to social distance in a crowd, protesting counts as community-related exposure. Bowser has also highly recommended that protesters get tested. 

Individuals have weighed the risks and many decided to go out and protest because, as one protester put it, “people are more scared of the police than COVID-19.” If that’s true of you, you might consider getting tested. Wanna get tested? Here’s a list of testing sites, 11 walk-up sites don’t even require an appointment. 

City Paper’s Chelsea Cirruzzo just got tested at Engine 11 Firehouse on Sherman Avenue NW, a new site that opened last week. She went to cover the protest on Saturday, where tens of thousands of people gathered in different pockets of the city. Cirruzzo had planned to get tested later in the week, but woke up on Monday with a cough and a headache, so her family asked that she get tested sooner than later. So, Cirruzzo went to Engine 11 Monday evening.      

“The most challenging part I think was just waiting. At around 5:30 pm. when I arrived, the wait was around an hour and a half. I passed the time by reading and listening to music,” says Cirruzzo. “My advice: If you aren’t sure about going, call DC Health and ask.”

No one asked Cirruzzo if she had symptoms, though she told a volunteer she had a cough when he asked what brought her in; he didn’t write this information down. From the looks of the people in line, very few were symptomatic. Meaning we’ve come a long way since March when officials were only testing a select few.     

“[G]oing and finally getting a test actually made the entire thing seem less scary and doable,” says Cirruzzo via text. “I am hopeful that my symptoms are a cold or allergies but regardless, experiencing how easy it is made me feel a lot less scared. If, later down the line, I begin to develop symptoms again or am exposed, I think I will have less anxiety about seeking out a test. All I needed to do was provide my name and contact. And the swab didn’t hurt! A few seconds of discomfort and then you’re done.”

Government officials and public health experts are waiting to see the effects of protests. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to show, so cases could possibly climb later in the week or next week given that protests in D.C. started 12 days ago. But take comfort knowing that some aspects of protesting work in protesters’ favor. 

“Outdoor contact is far, far less risky than indoor contact,” Tom Frieden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Post. “When outdoors within 6 feet, a mask will further reduce risk.” 

However, shouting, say, chants is risky given that droplets project farther than they do when speaking. And police tactics to control protests, namely the use of tear gas, could also intensify the spread of the coronavirus, per experts.      

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips?

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips?

  • There is no mayoral press conference today. 

  • D.C. reported four additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 85 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 495 and 9,474, respectively. DC Health says the city hasn’t met any Phase 2 metrics, but we have reached eight days of sustained decrease in community spread. [EOM]

  • The demands of Black Lives Matters DC. [DCist]

  • “Reimagined” events for Capital Pride. [Blade]

  • D.C. is getting 5 miles of “Slow Streets” for social distancing, far below what other cities have done. [WAMU

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci: “I think our city has done well. I think the mayor has done a very good job.” [NBC4]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips?

  • Vice President Muriel Bowser? [Business Insider, DCist]

  • Bowser’s transformation is boosted by her recent battles with Trump. [Post]

  • Donald Trump’s campaign is running ads on local cable T.V. to ease his anxiety over sinking poll numbers. [Daily Beast]

  • Residents’ narratives clash with Chief Peter Newsham’s statements about what happened on Swann Street NW. [Washingtonian]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips?

  • The D.C. hospitality industry showed up with sandwiches and support for protesters. [WCP]

  • Bon Appétit’s editor resigns after allegations of discrimination and a brownface photo. [Post]

  • It’s time for restaurants to change their culture. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips?

  • Check out photos from DowntownDC’s Black Lives Matter mural exhibition at Gallery Place. [DowntownDC]

  • A Virginia judge halts Robert E. Lee statue removal. [NPR]

  • Local summer camps are going digital. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips?

  • “My brother the Hero,” former Terps basketball player Dino Gregory wrote on Instagram about his brother, Daniel, who was shot in the arm Sunday after stopping a man from driving into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle. Daniel underwent surgery and is in stable condition, according to Dino. [Substack, 247Sports, NBC News]

  • D.C. United, which recently painted the words “I Can’t Breathe” and the letters “BLM” for Black Lives Matter on its home field in D.C., will host an open dialogue on racial injustice today at 4:30 p.m. on Twitter and Facebook, featuring Bill Hamid, Charity Blackwell, Rodney Wallace, Ben Olsen, and Charlie Davies. [Twitter]

  • Local CrossFit gyms are distancing or disassociating themselves from the company after the CEO tweeted “It’s Floyd-19” in response to a tweet about racism and discrimination being critical public health issues.Reebok and athletes have also cut ties with CrossFit. [WAMU, Forbes]

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

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