DC mayor says city’s coronavirus cases could peak earlier than expected
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Tuesday said the city could see its coronavirus cases peak in May, after forecasting two days earlier that the high point was likely to come in June.
The mayor told radio station WTOP that the new projections reflect daily updates based on “what we see on the ground.”
“We’re hopeful that our worst case scenario projections won’t be realized, which means we will see lower levels of infection or hospitalizations and possibly see our peak happen in mid to late May rather than late June,” she said.
Bowser had forecasted on Sunday that the city’s cases would begin to decline in June, saying she thought citywide closures of large public venues, bars and dine-in restaurants in early March had pushed back the timeline.
The nation’s capital has at least 2,062 coronavirus cases and 68 deaths, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Bowser commended D.C. residents and businesses for doing “a fantastic job” adhering to the social distancing rules, adding that it’s important they continue to do so.
She said it’s still too early to know when schools and businesses will be able to reopen.
“Nobody wants to get back open more than I do, to get our kids back in learning environments. But we don’t want to see a rebound in infection, which would lose all of the gains we’ve made over the last month,” Bowser said.
When asked on Sunday about criteria for reopening, Bowser said the city plans to “follow what the data on the ground tells us.”
President Trump has sparked backlash for remarks Monday in which he claimed that he has the authority to reopen businesses in states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called Trump’s assertion “factually wrong.”