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During Modified DC Government Operations, Many Services Still Operating

Sunday, March 15, 2020

NOTICE: The Public Health Emergency is in effect through April 24; school and government reopen on April 27.

(Washington, DC) While the District of Columbia Government will begin to modify its operations starting Monday, March 16, in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the District government wants residents to know that it will continue to deliver essential services and keep the majority of its systems and services operating.

Operations and Infrastructure

District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
DDOT remains open, with most DDOT staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will maintain normal operations are:

  • DC Circulator will operate its regular schedule.
  • DC Streetcar will operate its regular schedule.
  • Capital Bikeshare will continue regular operations.
  • In-person public space permits are still available at 1100 4th Street, SW.
  • DDOT will continue reversible lane operations during rush hour.
  • Construction work will continue in the District’s public space.
  • Permit distribution will continue through DDOT’s Public Space Regulation Division.

Department of Public Works (DPW)
DPW remains open, with a limited number of DPW staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will maintain normal operations are:

  • Trash collection
  • Parking ticket issuance (except for street sweeping which will be suspended during this time period)
  • Towing and booting

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
DCRA remains open, with most DCRA staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will maintain normal operations are:

  • In-person licensing will continue at 1100 4th Street, SW; however, customers are encouraged to apply for and renew business licenses, form LLCs and register corporations online
  • In-person building permits will continue at 1100 4th Street SW; however customers are encouraged to conduct plan and permit reviews as well complete the full certificate of occupancy application process, online.
  • Inspections can also be scheduled by phone and online, including inspections related to housing code violations, illegal construction, and vacant buildings.
  • Consumer protection complaints will continue to be investigated, and DCRA encourages residents to report fraudulent and illegal behavior on its website.
  • Building Inspections will continue to be conducted; however, the agency will provide limited abatement services. Residents who encounter an imminent building safety issue, such as an unstable structure, should contact the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE)
DOEE remains operational, with most DOEE staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will have modified operations are:

  • Energy assistance centers located at 2100 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE and 1207 Taylor Street, NW will be closed to the public; however, residents can still complete an online application by visiting doee.dc.gov/liheap.
  • Residents seeking energy assistance can apply online at doee.dc.gov/energyassistance.

Residents should note that major utilities have indicated they will not disconnect services during this emergency period.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
DMV remains open, with most DMV staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will have modified operations are:

  • The following DC DMV locations will remain open and operate during normal business hours; however, customers are encouraged to use online options by visiting dmv.dc.gov:
    • Southwest Service Center – 95 M Street, SW
    • Self-Service On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Emissions Kiosk – 300 Van Buren Street, NW (open 24/7)
       
  • The following DC DMV locations will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31:
    • Benning Ridge Service Center - 4525 Benning Road, SE
    • Brentwood Road Test/CDL Office - 1205 Brentwood Road, NE
    • Inspection Station - 1001 Half Street, SW
    • Adjudication Services - 955 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    • Georgetown Service Center - 3270 M Street, NW
    • Rhode Island Service Center - 2350 Washington Place, NE

DMV will extend the expiration date for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, inspections, ticket payments and ticket adjudication responses until April 17, 2020. All driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and vehicle inspections scheduled to expire between March 16 and March 31 will be granted a waiver without penalty until DC DMV reopens at full operating capacity. All tickets will remain in their current status between March 16 and March 31 and no additional penalties will be accessed during this period. In the interim, the public is encouraged to request adjudication and pay citations online. Additionally, all driver license suspensions and revocations will be paused until DC DMV returns to full operating capacity after March 31.

Department of For Hire Vehicles
DFHV remains operational, with most DFHV staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will maintain normal operations are:

  • Senior Med Express
  • Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
  • VetsRide
  • TransportDC

Taxi-to-Rail will continue to operate and will remove the current geographic restrictions, meaning residents can be picked up from anywhere East of the River and taken to approved locations (Metro stations and grocery stores). Residents will continue to have access to four trips per month.

Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB)
DISB remains operational, with most DISB staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will have modified operations are:

  • DISB will not have in-person customer access.
  • Individuals who would like to file a complaint related to insurance problems, questionable investment practices (e.g. Ponzi and pyramids schemes), consumer credit service organizations, money lenders (in person and online), mortgage lenders/brokers, and student loan services may do so via the DISB website (disb.dc.gov), or by contacting the department at [email protected] or (202) 727-8000.

Health and Human Services

Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL)
DACL remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. DACL will continue to provide critical services to District seniors, such as meals.

  • DACL’s Information & Referral/Assistance line ((202)724-5626) will continue to operate Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • DACL’s Adult Protective Services (APS) hotline ((202) 541-3950) will continue to operate 24 hours a day, to accept reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
  • Adult Day Health Centers will remain open. Please contact (202) 724-5626 for more information.

Senior Wellness Centers and community dining sites will be temporarily closed for activities effective Monday, March 16 - 31. However, meals will be available for pick-up at each site between 10 am and 2 pm for current participants.

Department of Human Services (DHS)
DHS remains open and will continue to support residents in need of assistance across the District during the period of modified operation. Modifications to DHS’s Primary services are as follows:

Access to Emergency Shelter – All low-barrier shelters, family shelters, and shelters serving youth will remain open.

  • Starting Monday, March 16, low-barrier shelters will extend daytime hours through Wednesday, April 1.
  • Families seeking access to homeless services should call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time of the day or night. The Virginia Williams Family Resource Center will be closed to the public for in-person interviews until Wednesday, April 1.
  • Anyone in need of shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time of the day or night.

Drop-In Centers:

  • Effective immediately, the Downtown Day Services Center and the Adams Place Day Center will be closed until Wednesday, April 1, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • Zoe’s Doors Youth Drop-In center located at 900 Rhode Island Ave NE will remain open as well as the Sasha Bruce Youth Drop-In Center at 741 8th Street, SE.

Transportation: Transportation to emergency shelter is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in the District. To request transportation, contact the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or by calling 311.

Homeless Service Outreach: Outreach Workers are continuing to provide services to people experiencing homeless with a focus on welfare checks, connection to medical support, and providing life-saving supplies such as hand sanitizer, blankets, etc.

Eligibility for Public Benefits:

  • Customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Alliance, and other public benefits provided by DHS, do not need to take any action at this time to continue receiving existing benefits that would otherwise expire on March 31 or April 30. Those benefits will be automatically extended.
  • For new applications for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance or other public benefits, please go to dhs.dc.gov or visit our Service Centers to pick up a blank application.
  • Applicants can drop off completed applications for benefits at DHS Service Centers and may be contacted by phone as necessary to complete the eligibility process.
  • Residents with questions about their benefits should contact the Call Center at (202) 727-5355 from 7:30-4:45 pm.

Child Care:

  • Childcare applications and documents can be dropped at the Congress Heights (4049 South Capitol Street, SW) or the Taylor Street (1207 Taylor Street, NW) Service Center(s).
  • Staff will call customers for an interview.
  • Recertifications will be automatically processed and valid for 60-90 days.
  • If a customer with a voucher is requesting a reassignment, that can be processed through the customer’s selected childcare provider, an office visit is not necessary.

Administrative Hearings and Investigative Interviews: DHS will continue to hold administrative hearings and investigative interviews but will conduct these via telephone/video calls. Any court hearings will continue if court remains open.

Case Management: Case management services will continue to be provided across DHS programs by phone or video whenever possible.

EBT Cards: New cards will continue to be distributed through the existing locations at 1649 Good Hope Road, SE and 645 H Street, NE.

Department on Behavioral Health (DBH)
DBH remains open and will continue service to residents, including the following services and programs:

  • The 24-hour telephone access to a mental health clinician and 24-hour suicide prevention lifeline as 1(888) 793-4357 is available always and is ready is serve.
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) will continue to provide emergency psychiatric services.
  • 35 K Street NE Adult Clinic will be open for urgent care services including assessment, counseling and psychiatric evaluation between 8:30 am and 3 pm.
  • 35 K Street NE Pharmacy is open for uninsured residents from 8 am to 5 pm. Prescriptions received before 4 pm will be filled the same day.
  • Children and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Service (ChAMPS will provide on-site immediate help to children facing a behavioral or mental health crisis whether in the home, school or community. Services are geared toward children and youth 6 – 21 years of age.
  • Urgent Care Clinic at the Moultrie Courthouse, will be open for easy access to behavioral health services to individuals referred by judges—primarily from misdemeanor and traffic court—who may show signs of behavioral illness, have been diagnosed as mentally ill, or show signs of both mental illness and substance abuse.
  • The Community Response Team will continue to respond to adults in psychiatric crisis in the home or community for counseling and transportation to emergency treatment if needed.

Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA)
CFSA remains operational, with most staff teleworking and offices closed to the general public through March 31. CFSA will continue to provide essential services and duties to ensure the safety of children in the District, including the following services:

  • The child abuse and neglect hotline (202-671-SAFE) will be available to accept reports 24/7.
  • Check cfsa.dc.gov for updated information on child protection registry clearances.

Department of Disability Services (DDS)
DDS will remain open, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. DDS is open to receive documentation necessary to process any pending applications.

Some DDS service operations will be modified as follows:

  • The agency will not be taking new applications for Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) services during the modified District schedule.
  • The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) services will continue to the more than 2,400 individuals we serve through our contracted provider agencies.
  • New intakes for DDA can be submitted for urgent need for services.

DC Health
DC Health is open and actively working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the District of Columbia.

  • Additionally, the Vital Records Division and the Health Licensing and Regulation Processing Center will be in operation from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. through March 31.

DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX)
The DC Health Link is operational and will continue to provide quality services to DC residents and all of its customers. DC Health Link will operate virtually from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31.

  • DC Health Link has a special enrollment period for any DC resident who is uninsured. Call (855) 532-5465 and we’ll help you #GetCovered.
  • All in-person activities including outreach events have been cancelled.

Schools, Parks, Libraries, and Internet Access

Public Schools and Meal Access
DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools have a modified schedule through March 31.

  • DCPS teachers will be in schools on Monday, March 16 to prepare distance learning plans for students.
  • Information will be shared to families this week about how to receive distance learning packets from their school.
  • School buildings will be open with limited staff on weekdays between March 16-24 for students and families to pick up essential items such as books and medication.
  • Meals will be available to any student in the District on weekdays from Monday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 31 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at sites across the District.

Department of Parks and Recreation
DPR will continue to provide residents with outdoor recreation opportunities. All outdoor fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts will remain open.

DPR indoor facilities are closed, and all programs, services, events and permits are cancelled through March 31.

DC Public Library
DCPL will continue to serve residents through its online digital library available at GoDigital.

DC Public Library locations will close on Monday, March 16 and reopen on Wednesday, April 1. All book drops will be locked so residents should keep borrowed items until libraries reopen.

Employment Services

Department of Employment Services (DOES)
DOES remains operational with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Programs that will continue under modified operations are:

  • Office of Unemployment Compensation remains operational, with staff on-hand to process unemployment claims, receive unemployment tax payments, and respond to inquiries via online or by phone.
  • Office of Workers’ Compensation remains operational, with staff on-hand to process workers’ compensation claims and respond to inquiries via online or by phone.
  • Customer Navigation Center remains open to respond to inquiries and provide information Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
  • Mayor Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program will continue to work with participants that have not yet certified through email and text notifications with information on how to submit certification documents via the portal. Certification has been extended until April 15, 2020.

DOES notable Closures or Suspended Operations:

  • The American Job Centers and the DC Infrastructure Academy will be closed from March 16-31, 2020. We will resume services on April 1, 2020
  • All Classes and Trainings as well as testing and information sessions have been suspended from March 16-31, 2020. We will resume classes and trainings on April 1, 2020.
  • Administrative Hearings Division and Compensation Review Board have suspended all hearings from March 16-31, 2020. We will resume hearings on April 1, 2020.

Residents can visit the DOES website, does.dc.gov, or call the DOES Navigation Call Center at (202) 724-7000, for information on DOES services and to file unemployment insurance claims.

Public Safety and Justice

First Responders
The Metropolitan Police Department, the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, the Office of Unified Communications, the Department of Forensic Sciences, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will continue to deliver services as normal.

Department of Corrections (DOC)
DOC is continuing to accept persons who are being transferred to the custody of the department. However, in order to protect residents, staff, and their families, the DC Department of Corrections is suspending all in-person visits, programming, and volunteer activities at its facilities for the entirety of the public health emergency. The Department will provide video visitation for inmates while in-person visitation is suspended. Lawyers representing inmates are allowed.

Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE)
The ONSE will continue to support residents during the period of modified District operations.

  • Pathways Program: All Pathway Ambassadors who are currently enrolled the program will continue to be supported by program staff through modified processes.
  • Violence Intervention Initiative: ONSE Violence Intervention Contractors will maintain remote contact with critical community members to assess and address urgent needs. Staff will make face-to-face visits in the event of client emergencies and will respond to incidents of conflict that are deemed critical.
  • Family & Survivor Support: The Family and Survivor Support division will continue to provide services to residents of the District of Columbia who have been impacted by violent crime through a modified process.
  • School-Based Initiative: While DCPS operates on a modified schedule, ONSE staff will be modifying their approach to remotely support Anacostia High School students enrolled in the ONSE Leadership Academy.

Office of Human Rights
OHR remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31st. OHR will not accept in-person complaint filings or receive individuals for in-person intake interviews during this time period.

  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18, discrimination complaints may only be submitted to OHR via mail, email, fax, or online intake questionnaire.
  • Intake interviews currently scheduled with OHR between March 16 and March 31 will be conducted via telephone.
  • For more information, call (202) 727-4559 or email [email protected].

Office of the Attorney General
The Office of the Attorney General remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. OAG will continue to provide valuable legal services to the District during the period of modified operations.

Child Support Services:

  • Intake and enforcement services for child support will continue by phone appointment.
  • Child Support can be reached by phone at (202) 442-9900 or email at [email protected].
  • Child support payments will continue to be processed as usual.

Consumer and other complaints:

  • OAG continues to take complaints by phone, email, and online.
  • To report price gouging and other consumer complaints: call (202) 442-9828, email [email protected], or fill out our online form.
  • To report workers’ rights violations: call (202) 442-9854.

Housing

Department of Housing and Community Development
DHCD will remain open and continue to assist residents in need of support during the period of modified District operations.

  • Documents for the Rental Accommodations Division, Rent Administrator, and the Conversion and Sale Division can still be dropped off at 1800 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE at the DC Department of Housing and Community Development and will be processed within three business days.

The Housing Resource Center will not be open for walk-in consultations during the District’s adjusted operating hours.

Office of the Tenant Advocate
The Office of the Tenant Advocate remains operational, with most staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Tenants seeking legal, education or outreach services should contact the Office of Tenant Advocate either electronically, through the web-based “Ask the Chief Tenant Advocate” link or by calling (202) 719-6560.

Residents should continue to check coronavirus.dc.gov for the latest information and guidance.