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Mayor Bowser and First Lady Obama Encourage Residents with COVID-19 Symptoms to Get Tested

Monday, April 27, 2020
Recording Featuring First Lady Obama Going Out to District Residents Over Next Two Weeks

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama is helping the District get the word about free testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). In a recorded message, First Lady Obama encouraged DC residents experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms to immediately contact their medical provider, or to call the DC Hotline at 1-855-363-0333 in English, or 1-844-796-2797 in English and Spanish, to schedule a free appointment. The message will go out District-wide through robocalls and radio advertisements over the next two weeks.

“We know a critical part of fighting this disease and ultimately reopening our city is expanded testing, particularly among our most vulnerable populations,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are grateful to First Lady Obama for joining our effort to let residents know about free testing and for encouraging DC to stay home.”

The District currently operates free COVID-19 testing at United Medical Center (UMC) and University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC) Bertie Backus Campus. There are additional free testing sites across the District.

To further help get the word about free COVID-19 testing, the District has sent three rounds of mailers with information to seniors and Medicaid beneficiaries, and, starting last week, began disseminating ward-specific calls from Councilmembers.

The full transcript of the First Lady’s message is below.

“Hi, this is Michelle Obama. On behalf of Mayor Bowser, I wanted to share information on free coronavirus testing for District of Columbia residents experiencing symptoms.

“If you or a member of your household is experiencing fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, congestion, body aches, chills, or running nose, please contact your medical provider immediately.

“You can schedule a free testing appointment by contacting your medical provider or calling the DC Hotline at 1-855-363-0333 in English, or 1-844-796-2797 in English and Spanish.

“Remember, we urge you to stay home except if you need essential health care, essential food or supplies, or go to your essential job.

“Thank you, and please stay home, DC. For more information, please visit”