Whereas Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington, D.C., was grappling with the riot that tore by way of the Capitol final week, one other disaster was slowly unfolding within the district: a surge of coronavirus circumstances.
Washington has been averaging 290 new coronavirus cases a day over the previous week, its highest determine for any seven-day stretch of the pandemic. The remainder of the Mid-Atlantic area, together with Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, can be surging: All three states set weekly case information on Sunday.
At a information convention on Monday, Ms. Bowser urged residents to be vigilant towards the virus, noting that the district’s hospitals are being strained by coronavirus sufferers and that the speed of optimistic virus take a look at outcomes was worryingly excessive.
“We stay involved — as the remainder of the nation stays involved — concerning the improve in circumstances,” the mayor mentioned.
Beginning on Monday, Ms. Bowser mentioned, any resident who’s 65 or older could make an appointment to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine. The coverage follows these of a number of states that have lowered the age threshold from 75, the place the Facilities for Illnesses Management and Prevention had advisable it’s set for early rounds of vaccinations.
After a surge final spring, Washington managed to maintain its case numbers comparatively low by way of the summer season and into the autumn. When October started, the district was averaging fewer than 40 new circumstances a day.
However the state of affairs has worsened steadily since then. Case numbers rose steeply over a two-month stretch, reaching a peak in early December. Although case counts ebbed a bit within the days earlier than Christmas, that progress has been undone within the first days of 2021.
It’s too quickly to know whether or not the inflow of demonstrators final week and the deadly rampage at the Capitol on Wednesday led to a spike in coronavirus infections, both in Washington or within the dwelling states of those that poured into the town.
One lawmaker who has since examined optimistic, Consultant Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, mentioned on Monday that she believes she was exposed whereas taking shelter in a Capitol room with different lawmakers who ignored directions to put on masks.