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Averaging One COVID-19 Death Per Day, D.C. Declares State Of Emergency And New Mandates

 Washington, D.C., Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a “state of emergency” for the nation’s capital on Monday morning, citing rising COVID-19 cases and the Omicron variant as the basis for the decision. But a look at the data shows that while cases might be rising, there isn’t any indication that the average number of deaths per day is increasing amidst the surge.

As part of the declaration, city employees will have to be fully vaccinated — including a booster shot — and can no longer choose to be tested to prove they do not have coronavirus, Fox 5 reported:

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has reinstated the city’s mask mandate and has expanded the District’s vaccine requirements as part of a State of Emergency she declared Monday as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide due to the highly contagious omicron variant.

Bowser said D.C. will reinstate the citywide indoor mask mandate at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will keep it in place through January 31. The Mayor has also expanded the District’s vaccine mandate for D.C. Government works to include the booster shot. Bowser also said workers will no longer have the ‘test out’ option available.

As part of her announcement, the mayor tweeted that “It is critical that all eligible people are getting vaccinated and boosted.”

As noted by The Washington Post, hospitalizations have reportedly been increasing as the Omicron variant sweeps the nation:

New coronavirus cases in the District have risen sharply in December. The seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 people was 51.01 on Friday compared to 10.9 at the beginning of the month; the seven-day average of new hospitalizations has grown from 87 on Dec. 1 to 169 on Friday — the highest rate of hospitalizations since May.

However — despite the increased hospitalizations — critics on Twitter pointed out that death by homicide appears to be more of a threat towards D.C. residents than the Omicron variant right now.

“The seven-day average of covid deaths in DC is 1. Just last night, there were 4 homicides in DC. They have reached their highest number since 2003. But @MayorBowser decided to declare a state of emergency for covid,” Greg Price tweeted.

That daily average was confirmed by The New York Times COVID-19 tracker, which also reported that over the past two weeks,  “an average of 360 cases per day were reported in Washington, D.C., a 252 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 10 residents have been infected, a total of 71,219 reported cases.”

Bowser’s announcement comes as the city of Boston announced similar measures Monday morning. Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu announced at a press conference that all city employees must be fully vaccinated by February 15 and that certain private businesses must require proof of vaccination for entry.

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