DC expands coronavirus testing; Phase Two update expected later this week

D.C. continues to expand its testing capabilities, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Monday, adding more walk-up sites.

Instead of two sites being offered, four sites will be open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We have been very focused on how we can assure that anyone who needs a test gets a test,” Bowser said. “And one of the updates that we made two weeks ago was that we began offering free fire testing at fire houses across the District.”

She noted that testing at the firehouse sites has been popular.

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.

“The week before the firehouses went online … 1,534 tests were given. During the time that the firehouses have been up and running, more than 5,900 tests have been given,” Bowser said.

“As you can see, that is a huge number of people going to their local firehouse, so I think that’s a testament to how people feel about their local firehouse and our fire and EMS personnel.”

Additionally, starting Tuesday, D.C. locations will be able to test children 6 years old or older. Previously, the minimum age had been 18.

Bowser cautioned that parents of sick children should contact their care provider.

See all the D.C. coronavirus testing sites here.

Phase Two update to come

D.C. officials said an update on Phase Two of the reopening plan is expected later in the week.

So far, the metrics are continuing their downward trend, D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said.

“What I will say is that we have had more testing, we may see more lab results come in as a result of that increased testing, but heretofore, we have not seen a reversal in the declining trend,” Nesbitt said.

June 19 remains the earliest possible date for Phase Two reopening. “And we have not changed that recommendation,” Nesbitt said.

Track the District’s coronavirus data online.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden to reopen Saturday

The Sculpture Garden at D.C.’s National Gallery of Art will reopen this Saturday.

The garden along Constitution Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets NW will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, the National Gallery of Art said in a news release.

The East and West buildings remain closed to the public.

Under ReOpen DC plans, museums shall remain closed until the District enters Phase 2, when it is recommended that museums open with limited capacity (five people per 1,000 square feet not to exceed 50% capacity) and physical distancing.

DC gun problem ‘rampant’

Bowser also commented on gun violence in the District, with one incident over the weekend in Southeast leaving two dead and five injured.

“That just shows you the rampant problem we have with guns in the city and people having access to guns, stashing guns, shooting guns, in broad daylight on a street, and how we need everybody in the public, everybody in law enforcement, everybody in violence interruption, to be fully engaged, to find who’s doing the shooting so that we can get the guns and get them off the street,” Bowser said.

DC coronavirus numbers

D.C. reported 32 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of positives to 9,799.

There were no new COVID-related deaths.

So far, 515 D.C. residents have lost their lives.

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

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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