There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Washington, DC, according to data from the DC Department of Health.The increase could pose a setback for the criteria Mayor Muriel Bowser is using to decide when the city will begin stage one of its reopening.
Until this weekend, Washington had 11 days of declining community spread of the coronavirus. The city said 14 days of decline were needed as one of the measurements necessary before moving to stage one of reopening. Sunday would have been the 13th day of decline — but instead there was a small spike over the last two days.
Since the spike was small, the DC Department of Health said Sunday it would consider this a reset back to day 11 of the decline because the number of cases was fewer than the department’s calculation of the standard deviation for the number of cases.
“We don’t have to go to day zero,” Director of the DC Department of Health, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, said in a news conference call.
Bowser said last week that Washington could begin stage one of its reopening on Friday, May 29, barring any spikes in cases.
With this increase in cases, DC could still have 14 days of decline before potentially reopening this Friday. Nesbitt would not comment on whether this reset affects when Washington could begin reopening.
There are two other factors for reopening: A less than 20% positivity rate and hospital capacity less than 80%. As of Sunday, the positivity rate is 19%, and the hospital capacity is 74%.