coronavirus

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Coronavirus Testing

Pre-registration for Public Testing

It’s best to get testing through your provider, but if you need to use public testing, you can save time in line by visiting coronavirus.dc.gov/register to create a profile from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Food Resources

Residents that are homebound because of COVID-19 can request support from the District for food and other essential items. Call 1-888-349-8323 or click here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/gethelp

For Students

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program provides food benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to District families with children who normally receive free or reduced-priced school meals if not for virtual learning due to COVID-19. For the one-time September payment, the daily food benefit is equal to $5.86 per child, per school day and can be used to purchase food at stores that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formally food stamps) EBT benefits and can also be used to purchase food for delivery online at Amazon.

Children who received a P-EBT payment last school year AND who were eligible for free and reduced price-meals again this year, along with eligible children in SNAP households received the one-time federally-authorized payment for the 2020-2021 school year that was paid on September 29, 2020. For families currently participating in SNAP or TANF, P-EBT benefits were automatically loaded onto the family’s existing EBT card. Families not participating in SNAP or TANF automatically received the funds on their previously issued P-EBT card. More information about the District’s P-EBT program is available at dhs.dc.gov/p-ebt.

At this time, the District is not authorized to issue additional P-EBT benefits.

For Seniors

The Department of Aging and Community Living’s hotline is operational, and seniors who need information or assistance should call (202) 724-5626. The call center will conduct a quick assessment and connect you to the appropriate service.

Special Hours for Vulnerable Populations

These retailers have provided special hours for seniors, as well as some retailers have offered hours for other vulnerable populations. Please call your local store on questions about hours of operation.

Aldi 

  • Special hours for seniors and immunocompromised: Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30 am – 8:30 am
  • Accepts SNAP

Dollar General 

  • Special hours for seniors: 8 am - 9 am daily

Family Dollar 

  • Special hours dedicated to at-risk customers, including senior citizens, individuals with pre-existing health conditions, and pregnant women: 8 am - 9 am daily
  • Accepts SNAP

Giant 

  • Special hours dedicated to individuals with compromised immune systems (regardless of age), senior citizens, as well as caregivers for customers who are unable to shop because of their health: 6 am. - 7 am daily
  • Accepts SNAP + WIC

Harris Teeter 

  • Special hours dedicated to seniors: Mondays and Thursdays 6 - 8 am
  • ExpressLane Online Shopping for Seniors 9 am – 2 pm for seniors on Thursdays, free pickup (SD60) for Seniors, $5 delivery for Seniors (SDDEL), in addition to regular 5% Senior club discount every Thursday.
  • Accepts SNAP + WIC

Safeway 

  • Special hours for seniors, expecting mothers, and immune-compromised individuals: 7 am - 9 am Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Accepts SNAP + WIC

Target 

  • Special hours for seniors, pregnant women, and those defined by the CDC as vulnerable or at-risk: first hour, each Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Accepts SNAP

Trader Joe’s 

  • Special hours for those 60+ and customers needing extra assistance: 8 am - 9 am
  • Accepts SNAP

Walmart 

  • Special hours for seniors and at-risk populations: 6 am - 7 am daily
  • Accepts SNAP + WIC

Whole Foods 

  • Special hours for those 60+: 7 am - 8 am daily
  • Accepts SNAP

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)

The District’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps residents buy the food they need for good health. If you think you may be eligible for SNAP benefits, you can complete and submit an application through the DC Department of Human Services (DHS). Learn more about how to submit an application on the DHS website. In addition, all current SNAP recipients will be automatically re-certified during coronavirus (COVID-19), and all in-person interviews for new applicants have been waived.

DHS has a combined application for public benefits, so you can apply for SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, financial assistance), and Medical Assistance (Medicaid, Alliance and other medical assistance programs available through DHS) with the same application. Learn more about the Combined Application for Public Benefits here. For more information about COVID-19 and the District’s response, visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program

Effective Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the District of Columbia (District) launched the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The District’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age five buy the food they need for good health and receive nutrition and breastfeeding counseling.

If you think you may be eligible for WIC:

Important changes to DC WIC operations during COVID-19:

  • WIC sites are providing all services over the phone.
  • All benefits will be mailed to participants.
  • For additional information on DC WIC program updates, visit dcwic.org/covid-19.

Finding WIC foods at the store:

  • DC WIC’s food list has been temporary expanded to allow for additional food items to be purchased with DC WIC checks during the COVID-19 public health emergency, effective April 1, 2020. You can find the list of expanded food items here.
  • Safeway has included pregnant women in their Tuesday and Thursday “Golden Hours” from 7am – 9am, where at-risk individuals can shop safely at their stores.

Finding WIC-issued formula at the store:

  • If you are having trouble finding your WIC-issued formula at the store, please speak to the store manager to see when shipments are scheduled. Some stores are able to put items (such as formula) on hold for customers.
  • Participants with checks for special formulas may order these formulas at any authorized Pharmacy location. These pharmacies have 48 hours to obtain your special formula.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/ Grocery Plus

For recipients of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/ Grocery Plus: 

  • The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), locally known as Grocery Plus, serves the District of Columbia’s senior population who are 60 years and older with a limited income. 
  • CSFP has increased its distribution to home bound seniors. The current CSFP certification period has been extended by 90 days. 
  • Current CSFP participants who have not received their monthly food box should call the Capital Area Food Bank at (202) 644-9880. 
  • For more information on CSFP/Grocery Plus program updates, please visit http://capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response/  

Other Food Resources

Thanks to our tireless agency, nonprofit, and local business partners, there are a range of services for DC residents who need food resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have created a map of these resources that will be updated each evening.

Please consider the following: 

  • If you have food at home, please stay home. DC Health is prioritizing social distancing and self-quarantine to limit the spread and impact of the coronavirus. Those who have food and other resources at home should use those resources first and maintain social distancing.
  • Consider home delivery. Currently, the District is providing home-delivered meals for seniors in need (see below). Many grocery stores and local farms also provide home delivery.
  • Seek out food if necessary. See the range of resources on this map. Notably, meals for children under 18 years old are provided at DCPS sites and charter school sites. Meals for seniors are being delivered to seniors in their homes. 

 If you’re providing a service not covered below, please email dcf[email protected] with:

  • Name of business/organization
  • Service being provided
  • Hours/location
  • Point of contact information

Can't find what you're looking for? A local non-profit organization, DC Food Project, has independently collected a list of other food resources that may be available to you or your family. Find those resources here: http://dcfoodproject.org/emergency-food-access.  

Grocery Shopping

When you go to the grocery store or other food outlet, you'll note some changes in stores to follow Mayor Bowser's directives for retail food outlets. Please review the information below to ensure you’re complying. We all have a role to play in flattening the curve.

  • Do not enter a grocery store if you have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) or symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose). More stores are offering delivery and curbside pickup and there are several other resources on this page. You can also call 311 for information about food resources.
  • Wear a mask or mouth & nose covering when entering and while inside the store.
  • Cough or sneeze away from other people and into your elbow.
  • Keep 6 feet away from other customers, both inside and outside of the store.
  • Only pick up and touch what you plan to buy.

Grocery stores are reporting no disruptions in their supply chains and stores are still getting new shipments on regular schedules. If a store is out of an item you need, ask a manager when the product will be available. The District is monitoring food supply chains closely and have put resources in place to support grocers and distributors for ensuring continuity of service.

Healthy Corners

To ensure that nutritious food is available in all DC neighborhoods, DC Central Kitchen's Healthy Corners program is continuing operations and discounting fresh, whole fruits and vegetables up to 50%. You can find a full list of participating stores here

Nearby Resources

Do you live in a neighboring jurisdiction? Our partners have resources in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

DC Health Guidance for Essential Food Businesses

DC Health has created guidance for essential food businesses.

Resource Map