D.C. is potentially just six days from reaching a target needed to begin phase one reopening in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time since tracking began, D.C. has gone eight straight days with a reduction in community spread of the virus, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Monday. City officials want 14 straight days of lower numbers before they consider reopening.
“We are eight days toward 14 days of decrease,” she said. “… Our testing and hospital usage is also on track. And I think also our tracing capability is almost where we needs it to be.”
To reopen, D.C. needs to meet benchmarks on community spread, hospital capacity, testing capacity and the rate of transmission.
Data on community spread tracks the date of symptoms, not test results, and doesn’t take into account congregant settings such as nursing homes and jails. Rather, it measures person-to-person spread in the community at large.
The mayor said she would speak Thursday about a possible phased reopening, barring “any unforeseen spike” in illnesses.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
Last week, Bowser extended D.C.’s stay-at-home order through June 8, saying the city needed more time to slow the spread of the virus. As of Monday, 7,270 people have been diagnosed and at least 392 have died.