Phase Two Reopening Will Start in DC June 19 at Earliest

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Phase two reopening is unlikely to begin until June 19 at the earliest, Mayor Bowser announced at a press conference on Friday.

Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, Director of the D.C. Department of Health, explained that four key metrics need to be met in order to move into phase two reopening, including 14 days of sustained decrease in community spread. As of Friday, there have been 4 observed days of sustained decrease in community spread.  

However, in consideration of the 14-day incubation period of COVID-19, D.C. is not likely to move into phase two for several more weeks, Nesbitt explained.

Other requirements for moving into phase two include a transmission rate of less than one for five days, a positivity rate of below 15% for a seven-day period, sufficient health care capacity for 14 days, and high-level efficiency in contact tracing. 

A new dashboard will be published on DC’s official coronavirus website to track these key metrics.

D.C.’s Chief of Police Peter Newsham also announced that a veteran senior police officer, Keith Williams, has died, presumably of COVID-19. Williams was a 31-year veteran of the MPD and is survived by a wife, four children and a granddaughter.

"We preliminarily believe his death is associated with COVID-19," Newsham said.

Bowser also expressed concern about the potential increase in coronavirus cases due to ongoing protests in the District. 

“We don’t know what the impact of these demonstrations will be on our COVID experience in D.C. We hope we won’t see a spike," Bowser said.

The Mayor announced new free walk-up COVID-19 test sites at firehouses across D.C. Additionally starting June 8, D.C. Public Libraries will allow curbside pickup and remote printing at 8 libraries across the city, Bowser said.  

New coronavirus data shows that while new cases continue to increase in D.C., deaths and daily hospitalizations have declined significantly over the past two weeks.

Today, 79 new cases were reported bringing the total count of coronavirus cases to 9,199. Four new deaths were also reported, bringing the total number of lives lost to 479.

Phase two reopening would allow for gatherings of up to 50 people, open up additional indoor and outdoor activities like gyms, camps, museums, nonessential retail and indoor dining with limited capacity.

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