Many famous landmarks and monuments are now closed, as are some local parks, because too many people were still visiting them in close proximity to one another, violating social distancing guidelines. And with new cases of the virus already on the rise, Mayor Muriel Bowser doesn't want the situation to explode.
"We are concerned that the next wave ... that D.C. could be in the second wave," Bowser recently stated.
"We want the message to get in everybody's head – that we see a level of infection in our city that if we aren't strict in our social distancing, the community spread will continue and we will have more people succumb to illness and perhaps death."
Thus far, more than 1,200 people in the Washington, D.C., area have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), while 22 people have died. And the worst could still be yet to come, predict some national and local health officials that are pushing to keep people off the streets and away from others for the foreseeable future.
In Bowser's opinion, the virus will probably peak in Washington, D.C., at some point in May or June, resulting in one out of every seven area residents coming down with infection. By the end of the year, she predicts, more than 1,000 people in the area could end up dying.
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Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, is another official who worries that the situation in Washington, D.C., if not contained, could spiral out of control much more quickly than area resources can handle.
Along with Chicago, Detroit, Pennsylvania, and many areas of Colorado, D.C. appears to be in the early stages of a major Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, exhibiting patterns that suggest a massive spike in new cases could be on the way that would completely overwhelm local healthcare systems.
"We are concerned about the metro area of Washington and Baltimore," she stated during a recent interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," noting that other officials like herself are "developing concerns" about what might happen in the capital.
"We're hoping and believing that if people mitigate strongly, the work that they did over the last two weeks will blunt that curve and they won't have the same upward slope and peak that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and part of Rhode Island are having."
While most people who develop the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) end up suffering only mild symptoms, there's a small contingent that fare considerably worse or even die from complications associated with infection, including those with pre-existing health conditions.
In addition to sealing off the entire Tidal Basin around the Jefferson Memorial to keep people from viewing the annual spring cherry blossom blooms, Bowser also decided to shut down a popular wharf-side open-air fish market after seeing photos of people there who were standing closer than six feet away from one another.
"We had to close that market because the social distancing requirements were not being met," Bowser told the media. "We cannot express enough that staying at home is every individual's responsibility to save lives ... We still have people gathering in places they know they shouldn't. We need the public's assistance here."
More of the latest Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) news is available at Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: