D.C. is now nine days toward seeing 14 straight days in lowered community spread of the coronavirus, which public health officials say they need to see in order to reopen the city.
City data released Tuesday morning shows a sustained decline in the District’s transmission rate, which measures how many people each person who tests positive for the virus might infect.
While Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that a drop in community spread comes as “good news,” the number of people diagnosed with the virus and killed continues to rise. More than 7,400 people have been infected and 400 people have died. The city announced on Tuesday morning an additional 164 cases and eight deaths.
Seventy-seven percent of people killed by the virus have been black, the city says, though black residents only make up about 46% of the city’s population.
To begin to lift restrictions, D.C. needs to meet benchmarks on community spread, hospital capacity, testing capacity and the rate of transmission. The mayor said she would speak Thursday about a possible phased reopening, barring “any unforeseen spike” in the virus data.
Here’s where we are Tuesday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area, and how our lives continue to be changed.
More than 79,000 people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have been diagnosed with COVID-19. At least 3,370 people have died. A 15-year-old girl is among the latest victims of the virus, officials in Baltimore County said Tuesday morning. Go here to see data in detail.
Some Prince George’s County lawmakers say the state hasn’t devoted sufficient resources to the virus crisis in the county. State Sen. Joanne Benson and Del. Erek Barron said in a letter on behalf of the county delegation that many needs are still unmet, including for medical tents, critical care staff and intensive care capacity.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said Prince George’s County has “received the most testing and the most new hospital capacity of any area in the state.”
Antibody testing for the virus is expanding in the D.C. area. Some patients said knowing whether they previously had it would provide some peace of mind and suggest they may not get it again. But medical professionals cautioned that knowing whether you have antibodies does not answer every question. How many antibodies you need in order to be protected is still unknown, one doctor said.
The annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim and related activities are canceled for July 2. This marks the first time the pony penning has been canceled since World War II, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company said.
Bad news for all Montgomery County pool-lovers: Public pools will not open on Memorial Day weekend as planned. The county announced Monday evening that public pools as well as “apartment and condominium complex pools, and private swim clubs” will stay closed because of COVID-19 restrictions. A reopening date was not announced.
And now something a little upbeat: A University of Maryland student who’s out of work because of the pandemic started a website to help people find face masks. FaceMaskDC.com helps people find local mask-makers.
D.C.’s mayor is set to speak about her city budget proposal before the D.C. Council at noon. Neither the governor of Maryland nor the governor of Virginia was set to address the public.