DC Mayor Muriel Bowser wearing a mask standing in front of a microphone outdoors with DC officials in background
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Credit: Darrow Montgomery/file

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After several months of reporting COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DC Health just, like, stopped doing it. The Post reported earlier this week that D.C. had not given data on the number of new COVID cases or virus-related deaths to the CDC since April 27 and that the Bowser administration would not explain why.

DC Health admitted the omission in a statement released Wednesday, but still provided no explanation. “This week, it was discovered that between April 27, 2022 and May 8, 2022, the data that is normally submitted manually was not being submitted to the CDC but was still used to calculate the community levels posted on coronavirus.dc.gov,” the statement says. “Data transfer has been restored.”

The CDC used the data to make recommendations to help residents assess their individual levels of risk—essential information now that District officials have proclaimed a shift to an endemic stage.

The lapse came as cases were ticking up throughout the region. The missing data, which is now restored, includes 1,062 new cases and zero deaths. In the past week, hospitalizations and daily cases in D.C. have increased by 11 percent and 58 percent respectively.

It’s still unclear why the lapse occurred, but rising cases and hospitalizations certainly do not jibe with Bowser’s chief of staff and Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio’s favorite hashtag of late: #DCisOpen.

In other COVID news:

• The U.S. is approaching a grim milestone. Nearly one million Americans have died of COVID-19 (six million people have died worldwide). As of Thursday, the seven-day average number of deaths nationwide was 272, according to the CDC.

• Thousands of nurses gathered in front of the White House and marched to the Capitol this week to demand better working conditions, including safer staffing ratios, higher pay, and protection from workplace violence—issues they say have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

• Most D.C. firefighters’ requests for a religious exemption to the city’s COVID vaccine requirement were granted. A total of 127 firefighters were approved for the exemption; 40 more requests are pending; no requests have been denied, Fox5 reports.• WMATA is considering a policy that would reserve some of its railcars only for passengers wearing masks. But there is some hesitation among Metro board members, who worry about enforcement, DCist reports. Masks have been optional on Metro as of April.

—Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • A D.C. 911 call center worker was placed on leave after incorrectly entering an address, which resulted in a delayed emergency response at 1222 I St. SE, where one woman was found dead. [WTOP]
  • The Department of Employment Services and Mayor Bowser are urging residents to apply for jobs in the Something in the Water festival scheduled for Juneteenth weekend. [WUSA9]
  • What to know about the abortion rights rally happening tomorrow. [NBC4, WJLA]

By Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • A group of six councilmembers is calling on D.C. Health to reinvigorate its COVID-19 case reporting efforts following the recent revelation that the agency had briefly stopped reporting case counts to the CDC. [Twitter]
  • The Post got an inside look at how MPD responded to the shooting near the Edmund Burke School in Van Ness that injured four people. But some reporters are crying foul that Mayor Bowser gave a preview of the investigation directly to one news outlet (with NBC4’s Mark Segraves insinuating it could be tied to her desire for a Post endorsement for her re-election bid). [Post, Twitter]
  • An MPD captain claims he’s faced harassment and retaliation within the department after he pushed back against orders to pursue a pair of robbery suspects. The car chase ended in a crash on the GW Parkway. [NBC4]
  • Ward 3 Council candidate (and longtime D.C. government staffer) Eric Goulet has hired political consultant Josh Brown to work on his campaign. Brown, once a campaign manager for Jack Evansill-fated 2014 mayoral bid, most recently landed in hot water for tweeting about Chicago teachers’ union politics from the D.C. Democratic Party’s account instead of his own work profile. [Twitter]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The search for baby formula amid a national shortage has turned into a part-time job for some parents. [DCist]
  • At-Large Councilmember Christina Henderson has introduced a bill to increase SNAP benefits that assist low-income families with food purchases. [Informer]
  • It’s farmers market season. Here’s a list. [Washingtonaian]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

City Lights: Your Five Best Arts Bets For May 13-18

Welcome to Friday! City Paper is trying some different things as we move toward a […]

  • An oldie, but a goodie: Five reasons to visit Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, well, four since we live here. [Arch Digest]
  • A well-made argument for why the Smithsonian’s forthcoming American Latino museum deserves a place on the National Mall. [Post]
  • Georgetown Galleries Spring Art Walk returns tonight. [Eventbrite]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia has been extended by one month, according to her lawyer, following a court appearance. [AP]
  • Justice Samuel Alito’s arguments in his leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade could have terrible implications for Title IX. [Post]
  • The Caps will look to keep their seasons alive tonight against the Panthers following an embarrassing game 5 loss. Punk drops at 7:30. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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