What to Know
- About 13% of D.C.'s population is expected to be infected with coronavirus, the mayor said.
- College dorms, hotels and the Washington Convention Center are being evaluated as potential sites for hospital beds.
- The number of cases and hospitalizations is expected to hit a peak in June or July.
Washington, D.C., officials expect that as many as 93,000 residents — about 13% of the population — will be infected with coronavirus and 220 to more than 1,000 people will die. A peak in cases and hospitalizations is expected this summer.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the estimates Friday morning, based on analysis of models. She called the 93,000-person estimate a "tough number to have to report." The estimate assumes that some residents will not practice social distancing, and includes people who recover.
A peak in cases and hospitalizations is expected "somewhere around the end of June and beginning of July," Bowser said in remarks at the D.C. Armory.
The number of residents sickened by the virus is growing by the day, the head of the health department said.
“We’re continuing to see an increase on a daily basis of the number of patients who are in all District hospitals related to COVID-19,” Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said.
D.C. Public Schools will not reopen on April 27 as planned, the mayor said. A later date will be announced soon.
At its peak, D.C. will need an estimated 3,000 acute care beds and about 2,800 intensive care unit beds, the mayor said. Three-quarters of that capacity was identified this week.
To get additional hospital beds, hospitals already have postponed all elective procedures. Additionally, officials are looking at how to use all available space in hospitals; reopening closed facilities; and possibly putting beds in locations including college dorms, hotels and the Washington Convention Center. Officials are assessing 39 alternate sites. Some sites could potentially be only for COVID-19 patients.
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Bowser asked residents to abide by the stay-at-home order.
The District has quickly increased its testing capacity. On March 18, the District could take 300 tests per 1 million people. Ten days later, they could do 4,000 tests per 1 million people.
“When we look at those numbers, it bears repeating that everybody needs to stay home. We can drive down the number of infections, hospitalizations and demand for very, very precious PPE," she said.
Despite the grim numbers, the mayor offered a message of hope.
“We will get on the other side of this and we will get back to life in our beautiful, thriving city," she said.
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.