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Councilmembers want more information on monkeypox to be offered by DC Health

Among other things, eight councilmembers also asked DC Health to publicly provide data on vaccine distribution by ward.

WASHINGTON — Some councilmembers want DC Health to provide more information about what it is doing to combat the spread of monkeypox.

On Monday, eight councilmembers sent DC Health interim Director Sharon Lewis a letter that claimed several areas of additional information and communication were needed from her department.

“Many residents who are not considered at high risk for monkeypox are scared for themselves and for their children who will return to school later this month,” the letter reads. “They do not feel they have sufficient information to know what their own risk is or how to protect themselves and their family members.”

The councilmembers urged Lewis to develop communications, dashboards and other materials aimed at residents who are outside the highest-risk groups for monkeypox infection in the District.

The councilmembers also called on DC Health to ensure that it distributes the monkeypox vaccine in an equitable manner by publicly providing data on vaccine distribution by ward and the department’s outreach efforts.

“We would like to know more about what other efforts are being undertaken to reach eligible residents who may not be on social media or have consistent internet connection,” the letter reads.

District leaders have also called for timely briefings to be made to the council staff similar to the ones DC Health officials used to have regarding the spread of Covid.

Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Robert White, Charles Allen, Brooke Pinto, Trayon White, Elissa Silverman, Brianne Nadeau, and Anita Bonds signed the letter.

WUSA9 has requested comment from DC Health about the letter but has not heard back.

D.C. currently has recorded 342 monkeypox cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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