District of Columbia

Potomac River, Washington D.C.
At a Glance
  • Population: 700,000
  • Local Health Departments: N/A
  • Frequent Public Health Emergencies: Terrorism/Security Threat, National Special Security Events, Mass-Gathering Special Events
  • Key Emergency Operations Center Activations: 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic
  • CDC PHEP Funding:
    FY 2022: $6,527,834
    FY 2021: $6,548,017
    FY 2020: $6,467,129
  • Public Health Crisis Response Funding
    Mpox 2023 funding: $540,688COVID-19 2021 funding: $5,127,654
    COVID-19 2020 funding: $6,148,298
PHEP-funded staff (rounded)
  • Epidemiologists: 2
  • Educators: 2
  • Other*: 21

*Includes IT specialists, administrative staff, statisticians, and other positions

CDC Preparedness Field Staff

1 Preparedness Field Assignee

Top Five Capability Investments
  • Public Health Laboratory Testing
  • Medical Material Management and Distribution
  • Medical Countermeasure Dispensing
  • Emergency Operations Coordination
  • Community Preparedness
Stories from the Field
CDC PFA Prepares Washington, D.C., for 2020 COVID-19 Surge

Lindsay Schultz, a PHEP-funded preparedness field assignee in Washington, D.C., helped prepare the city in 2020 for the COVID-19 surge. As planning section chief for the district’s health and medical branch (HMB). She and her team worked with other groups in the branch to coordinate planning for hospital surge. Schultz and her team addressed such issues as personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation including logistics for receiving, storing, and shipping of PPE to healthcare facilities in the district. They also conducted planning for a 450-bed alternative care site in case local hospitals became overwhelmed.

Schultz and her planning team created the framework for public drive-up and walk-through testing sites in Washington, D.C. The HMB used the framework to expand public testing, putting most residents within a 20-minute walk of a testing site. In the fall of 2020, Washington, D.C., consistently ranked in the top five for per capita public testing programs. The city was testing 25,502 people in its largest week of public testing.

Schultz helped the immunization team prepare for the phased vaccine rollout. They partnered with pharmacies and healthcare facilities to administer vaccinations and set up a vaccine registration portal. In early March 2021, Schultz and her team planned and conducted the city’s first high throughput vaccination site at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The site was capable of administering more than 2,000 doses of vaccine per day.

CDC in Action–PHEP Helps Keep Residents Safe during State Funeral of President George H.W. Bush

In Washington, D.C., PHEP ensures that the health department works with federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to keep residents safe during National Special Security Events (NSSE). As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. has more NSSEs than any other jurisdiction. During the funeral of President George H.W. Bush in December 2018, the Washington, D.C. health department—relying on PHEP partnerships— activated their Health Emergency Coordination Center and coordinated with local hospitals to prepare for a possible surge. It also deployed 34 Medical Reserve Corps members to provide medical treatment and patient tracking support for the crowds standing in line outside the U.S. Capitol and the distinguished guests attending the memorial service at the National Cathedral.

Washington DC 2017 Inauguration
Keeping People Safe during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Thanks to PHEP, the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) successfully integrated local, state, federal and non-governmental partner resources to ensure success during the 58th Presidential Inauguration. For example, D.C. activated its emergency operations center and Health Emergency Coordination Center (HECC). About 200 patients received care during Inauguration activities. DOH Sanitarian teams, collaborating with partners, ensured safety of food preparation for official and unofficial dinners throughout the District. Finally, the HECC redeployed a medical reserve corps team from the President’s National Prayer Service to the growing crowd at the National Women’s March, to support protester safety.