A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Contacts Traced

DC Health laid off 131 contact tracers as the city ends a crucial program that tracked the severity and spread of COVID-19 for the past two years, the Washington Post reports. Nineteen of the 131 employees were hired in other vacant positions, and three went to work elsewhere in the D.C. government, according to the Post. 

The health department will continue contact tracing for other diseases, as it has before the pandemic. The recent monkeypox outbreak is of particular concern.

Speaking of monkeypox…

There are 21 confirmed cases of monkeypox in D.C., which is good enough to put us in the top five jurisdictions in the U.S., Axios reports. The District already ran out of monkeypox vaccines, but the feds will make nearly 300,000 doses available in the coming weeks. TBD how many D.C. will receive.

Kids Under Five

Children under 5 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The shots became available in D.C. in late June, but only 7 percent of kids have gotten at least one dose, a total of 3,156, according to DC Health data. Here’s a handy guide for how to get young kids vaccinated in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, via Axios, and answers to five FAQs, via the New York Times.

Another Booster for Omicron

The Food and Drug Administration is recommending vaccine manufacturers retool their vaccine formulas to target the highly contagious omicron variant as part of a new round of booster shots for the fall.

Case Count

The number of reported COVID cases in D.C. has trended downward since mid-May, according to District data. Community spread is “LOW,” and hospital admissions and deaths have remained steady. 

Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling, four people are suing the District over its restriction on carrying concealed handguns on public transportation. [DCist]
  • Almost 200 people were arrested near the Supreme Court Thursday while protesting the justices’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, including California Rep. Judy Chu, who wrote a bill last year to enshrine abortion rights into federal law. [WTOP, NBC4]

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

Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

Silverman Accuses Mendelson of Trying to Delay Three of Her Bills to Death

The pocket veto is a tool of a bygone era in official Washington, allowing a […]

  • Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen is hoping to pass a slew of changes to reform D.C.’s troubled crime lab by fall, after holding a hearing on his legislation Thursday. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart exasperated Allen, though, by refusing to talk through details of the administration’s position on the bill just yet. [DCist]
  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is pushing ahead with a bill to reform D.C.’s rapid rehousing program for people experiencing homelessness. He tried to manage some of this through the budget process, but wasn’t able to overcome cost concerns at the time. [Twitter]

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

Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Summer Treats Get the Upscale Treatment at Happy Ice Cream

Last summer, only a few weeks after moving to D.C., I tried the best ice […]

  • D.C.’s minimum wage increases today to $5.35/hour for tipped workers (it’s $16.10/hour for employees not working for tips). In November, D.C. residents vote on whether to raise the tipped minimum wage to $15/hour. [NBC4]
  • Indochen, a new Indian Chinese restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, features a culinary mix born of Chinese merchants who traveled back and forth from China to India. [DCist]
  • The group behind Michelin-starred Imperfecto is opening a new Latin American restaurant in Chevy Chase, Joy. [WTOP]
  • Caruso’s Grocery is opening a second location in North Bethesda. [Washingtonian]

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

Credit: Mark Caicedo/PuraVida Photography

Near Northeast Says Goodbye

All good things must come to an end, and on July 1, D.C.’s experimental indie […]

Credit: Kyle Flubacker

The Art of Banksy, Goodbye Near Northeast, and More Best Bets for June 30–July 6

Onlookers wonder about Banksy’s mysteriously unkempt identity and whether one of the prints on view […]

  • U.S. Green Building Council National Capital Region has announced its finalists for this year’s Community Leader Awards and the Southwest Library is a finalist. [Twitter, USGBC-NCR]
  • BTS’ RM boosted the National Gallery of Art’s social media following. By a lot. [Washingtonian]

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

  • Brittney Griner’s trial starts today in Russia. The Kremlin appears to be linking her fate with that of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death,” who is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and aid a terrorist organization. [NYT]
  • Bradley Beal signed a five-year, $251 million deal with the Wizards. [Twitter]

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

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