DC heightens testing efforts amid slight uptick in coronavirus cases

Mayor Muriel Bowser wears a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as she speaks at a news conference on the coronavirus and D.C.’s response, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

D.C. reported no deaths from COVID-19 for the fourth day in a row Monday, the longest stretch of days without related deaths since the District reported its first coronavirus-related death in March.

Still, D.C. officials announced at a news briefing Monday new testing initiatives, and that the reopening of pools would be delayed as the District sees a slight uptick in new coronavirus cases.

“You tend to see an increase in incidents, or the number of new cases, followed by an increase in hospitalizations, followed by an increase in deaths,” said D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt.

D.C. reported 59 new cases Monday, after the city saw numbers of new cases consistently in the 20s and 30s in late June and early July.

When D.C. entered Phase Two last month, city leaders said they would be looking to the week of July 13 to reopen public swimming pools. Now, that’s being pushed back.

“We’re going to hold off on that decision until the end of the month,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “So, we would expect at the end of July to tell you a little more about that.”

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

Bowser also said she expects city officials to discuss reopening plans for D.C. Public Schools on Thursday.

In a heightened effort to track the spread of COVID-19, a new antibody testing site will open in D.C. on Tuesday, Bowser announced. It will be the third antibody testing site in D.C. and will be located at the Hillcrest Rec Center on Denver Street Southeast.

Antibody testing in the District is done by appointment only.

D.C. Health is also partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a citywide serology survey, during which 850 random households will receive a letter asking them to take an antibody test. Everyone in the household would get free transportation to the testing site.

“If you receive one of these letters, we urge you to participate so we can learn more about how COVID is affecting our community,” Bowser said.

All three of the D.C. antibody testing sites will close Aug. 15, and the survey will also end on that date.

Bowser also shared the schedule for this week’s testing sites Monday:

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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