This past Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, suggested that anyone who gathered with people outside of their household for Thanksgiving, should assume that they have been infected with COVID-19. You can see the video of her interview here. She further recommends that individuals should be tested 7 to 10 days after exposure (which would be now) and those that are 65 or older who experience any symptoms, should be tested as soon as possible because early treatment is important.
For those who want to get tested, the mayor recommends being tested by your health care provider so that your physician knows your health care needs when the results are determined. The District also provides several walk-up and drive thru sites. A list of free testing sites may be found hereand within Ward 3, you can go to the Engine 31 Firehouse located at 4930 Connecticut Avenue (near the intersection with Fessenden Street) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:30 – 7:30pm. Save time in line and pre-register at coronavirus.dc.gov/register. Seniors may also be served first, but it’s advised to be discreet when advancing to the front of the line!
The White House Coronavirus Task Force also this week issued dire warnings due to the increase amount of the virus circulating within communities. You can read a full article on their warnings but perhaps the most relevant part for older adults is, "It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered." It should be noted that when considering this statement and assessing risk, the conditions today are not the same as a few months ago because of the greater amount of the virus present in our communities today. Each of us must assess the level of risk for various activities in today’s environment and make choices accordingly. Please know that your Village is here to assist you throughout this difficult period.
Looking forward, it appears that at least two vaccines are on the horizon. The draft version of DC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan can be found here and describes a phased distribution (see pages 19 -23 of the report.) DC has identified approximately 85,000 individuals who are front-line public health workers/home health aides or those living in long-term care or assisted living centers as the first COVID vaccine recipients. See the chart below for the proposed phased approach.