DC reports no new coronavirus deaths, 13 days of downward trend in community spread

A man with a mask walks past almost an entire city block of boarded up storefronts in the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, Friday, May 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

For the first time since March 31, D.C. reported no new deaths from COVID-19, as well as a 13-day sustained decrease in community spread of the virus, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday.

The District did encounter an “unexpected setback” Saturday, Bowser said, resetting D.C. from 14 days to 11.

The downward trend in community transmissions is one of the metrics being followed to guide the reopening of the city. That means a possible Phase 1 reopening could still begin Friday, barring unforeseen spikes.

Bowser plans to give an update Wednesday on the reopening.

“So, tomorrow, we hope that the trends will continue, and we will be able to provide next steps on Phase 1 opening … to be effective on this Friday, May the 29th,” Bowser said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Regardless of the phased reopening, Bowser did not specify whether or not July 4 parades would be happening. “We won’t be issuing any permits for parades in Phase 1,” she said.

To date, total deaths in the District stand at 440.

D.C. released initial outbreak modeling in early April, projecting the possibility of more than 1,000 deaths through the end of the year as a worst-case scenario.

A “moderate” number of deaths was cited as 440, the current total.

The District reported 109 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, which brings the total number to 8,334.

Below are maps of cases by ward, neighborhood and community transmission.

Nearby Northern Virginia could also transition into the first phase of reopening later this week, joining the rest of the state in easing coronavirus restrictions.

Coronavirus in DC by the numbers

Number of positive results: 8,334 (+109)

COVID-19-related deaths: 440 (=)
Currently hospitalized*: 353 (+22)
Recoveries: 1,080 (=)
Total number of tests: 42,055 (+1,252)

What Phase 1 looks like for DC businesses

Bowser outlined what a Phase 1 reopening might look like for businesses in the District and what they can expect.

“Phase 1 for restaurants would include outside dining. Phase 1 for retailers, nonessential retailers, would include grab and go options,” Bowser said. “So, we continue to ask them to look at coronavirus.dc.gov for checklists for reopening.”

The mayor also said there was a partnership in place to assist businesses that are working to reopen.

“We have a made a partnership to use our local strategic supply to help businesses that are going to start a Phase One reopening with some of the supplies that they need,” Bowser said, likening it to a “one-time care package while they think about how they are procuring their own supplies.”

Items included in the care package are hand sanitizer, masks and cleaning supplies, Bowser said.

Newsham addresses crime trends amid pandemic

D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham said Tuesday that despite a spate violence over the weekend — including four homicides and the shooting of a 4-year-old girl — he can “report a drop in both violent and property crime year today compared to last year.”

“City property crimes are down 12% compared to last year. Much of that reduction is attributed to a 17% reduction in thefts,” Newsham said. “Violent crime across the city has decreased by 10%, including a 15% reduction in robberies.”

Domestic violence has also been in a “slight” decline, according to Newsham.

“We’ve actually seen a slight decrease in both calls for service, incidents of domestic violence and arrest, which are the three measures that we can measure at the police department,” he said.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report. 

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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