The Washington Post

Health officials plan to close covid centers


D.C. public health officials plan to close the city’s eight covid centers on March 31 because of a drop in new infections and the widespread availabili­ty of vaccines and home testing kits, according to a D.C. Health statement released Friday.

District officials on Tuesday stopped offering free rapid tests and self-service PCR tests at libraries and senior centers.

The closures come as the federal government prepares for the May 11 expiration of national emergencie­s to combat the coronaviru­s.

The District opened its covid centers — one-stop shops for free vaccinatio­ns, tests and masks for all residents — at the height of the pandemic more than a year ago. Most pharmacies and doctor’s offices now provide the same service, D.C. Health officials said as they explained their decision.

The covid centers provided more than 1 million masks, more than 80,000 doses of coronaviru­s and flu vaccines, and 400,000 rapid tests, District data shows. Free at-home tests, local testing sites and vaccines are still available to all residents through the federal government.

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