D.C. mayor urges vigilance as community spread of COVID-19 declines

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that residents should remain vigilant as coronavirus health metrics improve.

D.C. Department of Health data show the city’s seven-day average daily case rate of 14.9 per 100,000 people is below 15 for the first time since Nov. 9 — which means it has shifted from the “red” zone of reopening phases to the “yellow” zone.

“[I]t means we’re not in our highest level of community spread, but we’re in the mid-level of community spread,” Miss Bowser said during a press conference.

The rate of people getting tested for the virus, however, is also trending downward — which the mayor is “not happy about.”

“None of us wants to let ourselves think that we’re out of this and so all of the things that help us contain this virus including: wearing a mask, limiting your activities, [and] social distancing are important and it’s also important to get vaccinated when it’s your time,” she said. “Testing is also hugely important.”

As of Monday, data show 429,956 residents have been tested, 39,755 cases have been confirmed, as well as 995 total deaths in the city of more than 700,000 residents.

The delay of vaccine dose shipments caused by winter weather last week did not affect local vaccine appointments, according to Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. Health Department. 

So far, the city has received 105,575 doses of the first shot, 92,600 of which have been administered, and an additional 17,590 are set to arrive this week.

The District is currently in Phase 1C Tier 2 of its vaccine distribution plan which includes residents over age 65 and those in long-term care settings, as well as employees in various industries including health care, government, education, transit and manufacturing.

The next tier is slated to begin the week of March 1, during which residents between the ages of 16 to 64 with certain qualifying medical conditions can sign-up for a shot.

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