By keeping the public emergency in place, Bowser said, the city will still be able to respond quickly to changes in the pandemic.
The governors of Maryland and Virginia already lifted their states of emergency weeks ago as cases dipped. The state of emergency in Maryland ended July 1, and Virginia’s state of emergency expired at the end of June. Both states kept certain protections, such as a stay on evictions, in place.
The public emergency extension comes amid a spike in cases related to the more contagious delta variant. In the greater Washington region, the seven-day average of new cases on Friday was 800, the highest since May 21.
Throughout the pandemic, the D.C. Council has voted repeatedly to extend Bowser’s authority to keep the city in a state of emergency, extending that permission until Sunday. Lawmakers had not ruled out extending Bower’s authority further as of June.
According to the news release, Bowser still can receive federal reimbursement, relief and recovery grants; establish mask and vaccination requirements; make personnel changes; provide incentives to comply with public health recommendations; and implement preventive measures for medically vulnerable or homeless people, among other powers.