dc reopening

DC to Give Update This Week on When Phase 2 Reopening Can Begin

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The end of this week is still the earliest that Washington, D.C., could start phase two reopening and lift some restrictions as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

It may be possible for D.C. to enter phase two this Friday, June 19, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Monday morning. She said she would give an update later this week on reopening. For now, data suggests D.C. is moving in the right direction. 

“We have been able to flatten our curve and our cases continue to decline,” the mayor said. “We have been doing it at the pace that the data says we should.” 

D.C. saw a setback this weekend. Data showed the District saw a rise in community spread of the virus early this month. About 67 people people were known to have developed symptoms on June 5, up from about 20 people just two days earlier. As of Monday, though, the community spread figure was back down. D.C. has seen nine days of decline toward a 14-day goal. 

The community spread metric tracks how many people are known to have developed symptoms in the community — not in congregate settings such as jails, assisted living or shelters — on a given day. When the spread of cases in the community is down, it shows the virus is no longer rapidly spreading, the city says. 

D.C. has seen “no reversal in declining trends,” Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said Monday. 

D.C. is still in reopening phase one, with mass gatherings limited to 10 people. Phase two reopening would lift some restrictions on restaurants, nonessential stores, salons and outdoor recreation. 

Nearly 9,800 people have been diagnosed with the virus, D.C. says. At least 515 have died.

Dozens of people line up, waiting to get a free COVID-19 test at one of the 10 D.C. firehouses set up to offer testing. News4's Derrick Ward reports.

Black and African-American residents have died in disproportionate numbers. Out of the 515 people recorded to have died from COVID-19, 74% were Black or African American, though the group makes up only about 46% of the District’s population. 

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