Mayor Muriel Bowser just included D.C.'s grocery store workers in the essential personnel classification, giving them access to free testing for COVID-19.

As the region ramps up testing facilities for COVID-19, frontline employees are among the first to get tested, and rightfully so. The question is: Who exactly is on the frontline?

Before the announcement was made, free priority testing was reserved for people showing symptoms, health care workers, first responders like law enforcement officers and EMTs, and some vulnerable categories of patients. Now, grocery store employees can seek testing even if they are not yet showing symptoms.

“Every day, we have workers out in the community ensuring we have access to food and other essential products and services, and those workers are safer and so is everyone else when we know who has the virus and who has been exposed to it. We already know that testing and contact tracing will play a critical role in every stage of our response and recovery, and this expansion is one more strategy for slowing the spread, protecting workers, and saving lives.” — D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

D.C. currently has 12 testing sites, including 10 public sites and two sites for One Medical and Kaiser Permanente members. Phone hotlines in both English (855-363-0333) and Spanish (844-796-2797) are dedicated to resident testing questions and making appointments for COVID-19 tests. Residents can also start the process by contacting their regular health care providers.

For more information about free priority testing for grocery store employees and other essential personnel in D.C., see the mayor's official press release from April 28.

Who else do you think should be eligible for free testing as essential employees? Let us know in the comments!