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Mayor Bowser Declares Snow Emergency Beginning at 12 a.m. on Monday, January 3; COVID-19 Rapid Test Pickup Operations at DC Public Schools Will Shift One Day

Sunday, January 2, 2022

1/3/22 Update: Due to the extreme weather conditions Monday morning, Firehouse rapid and PCR pick up and drop off have been cancelled. Test yourself drop boxes are still open for drop off.

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a Snow Emergency in Washington, DC beginning at midnight on Monday, January 3 and going until 7 pm on Monday, January 3. The District Snow Team is also deploying at midnight on Monday, January 3.

Mayor Bowser also announced that Safe Return operations at DC Public Schools (DCPS) will shift one day. Schools will be closed on Monday, January 3. DCPS staff should report their COVID-19 test results before 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 4. DCPS students must now test on Wednesday, January 5. Families can pick up their rapid antigen test on Tuesday, January 4 between 1 pm and 4 pm or on Wednesday between 8:30 am and 4 pm. Schools are scheduled to re-open on Thursday, January 6.

District Government will operate in a telework posture for non-essential/non-emergency employees. Essential employees will report for duty as previously scheduled, unless otherwise directed. All in-person programming at DC Government agencies will be closed. Virtual appointments and online services will continue unless otherwise stated.

Test Yourself DC at-home PCR tests and Test Yourself Express rapid tests will be available for pick-up on Monday, January 3 from 2:30 pm – 7:30 pm (or until supplies run out) at four firehouses:

  • Engine 4 at 2531 Sherman Ave NW
  • Engine 8 at 1520 C St SE
  • Engine 31 at 4930 Connecticut Ave NW
  • Engine 33 is located at 101 Atlantic St SE

All other testing sites will be closed. Residents will still be able to drop off Test Yourself DC tests at drop boxes at libraries and recreation centers before 8 pm. Engines 4, 8, 31, and 33 will also accept Test Yourself DC drop-offs on January 3 during the hours listed above.

Meal distribution sites at DCPS and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities will be closed.

Trash, recycling, and Christmas tree collections will “slide” to the next day for the remainder of the week into Saturday. For example, households that normally receive trash/recycling collections on Monday will be serviced Tuesday.

While the snow emergency is in effect, motorists may not park on snow emergency routes and vehicles parked on these routes may be towed. Find a map of the snow emergency routes at snow.dc.gov. To learn where a vehicle has been towed, call the Towed Vehicle Locator office at (202) 541-6083, or go to http://dpw.dc.gov/service/locate-towed-vehicle.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) leads the District Snow Team with support from the Department of Transportation (DDOT), Department of General Services (DGS), Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Serve DC, and several other agencies.

Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important weather alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alert.dc.gov.

The District Snow Team also encourages residents and commercial property owners to apply abrasives such as rock salt, deicer, or non-clumping kitty litter to the sidewalks around their properties prior to snowfall to reduce the possibility of icing and to prevent slips and falls. The Snow Team uses pet friendly deicer on District pedestrian bridges.

Residential and commercial property owners are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks within the first eight hours of daylight following the end of the storm. Through the Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption Program, qualified residents will be exempt from this requirement if they own and live in their own homes (single-family or apartment building with no more than three units) and are 65 years old or older and/or living with a disability. Just call 311 to apply by February 28, 2021, the deadline for this year.

Residents are also encouraged to join Serve DC’s Volunteer Snow Team, which helps clear sidewalks for registered seniors who are 65 and older, and residents with access functionality needs. This year, Serve DC especially needs volunteers in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8. Volunteers can sign-up at servedc.galaxydigital.com.

Buildings and COVID-19 Sites

The Snow Team is pre-treating and will remove snow at municipal buildings, first responder locations, hypothermia centers, homeless shelters, COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, and DC Public Schools.

Hypothermia Alert and Shelters

If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, during freezing temperatures, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093, or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Streateries and parklets are not to be used during a Snow Emergency.

Winter Weather Tips

  • Find your snow shovel and make sure it is adequate for another snow season.
  • Check your supply of abrasives – deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter – and get more if necessary. The District has used pet-friendly deicer on its pedestrian bridges for several years and found it to melt ice effectively and be easy on pets’ paws.
  • Have enough over-the-counter and prescription medications for your family and pet(s).
  • Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves. You don’t want leaves to block the flow of rainwater that may freeze.
  • Turn off all outdoor water faucets.
  • Keep your vehicle’s fluids tanks – gas, water, antifreeze and windshield wiper – full.
  • Have a flashlight, blankets, and scrapers in your vehicle before a storm begins.
  • If you have to drive, make sure you remove all snow and ice from your windows, windshields, roof and trunk before driving. You improve your visibility and protect others from flying snow and ice.

The District Snow Team will continue to monitor the weather forecast and adjust its response as necessary. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, visit snow.dc.gov.