- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2020

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday ordered flags to fly half-staff across the city to honor those who have died from coronavirus and the two Metropolitan Police officers who died this week.

“Every morning we report lives lost in the District,” Miss Bowser said at the press conference. “All of these losses represent people in our community were loved and who will be missed dearly.”

The D.C. Department of Health reported 137 new cases and six additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 38 and total cases to 1,660 in the city of 750,000 residents.

Sgt. Mark Eckenrode and Sgt. Donna Allen, police veterans who had worked 23 and more than 30 years in the force, respectively, died from non-coronavirus medical emergencies while on the job this week, said Police Chief Peter Newsham.

Miss Bowser started off her press conference with a moment of silence, a bugle performance of “Taps” and a bagpipe version of “Amazing Grace,” and words from religious leaders.

Mr. Newsham said the city will hold a service to commemorate the “beloved” sergeants after the pandemic is over.

The police chief also said property crime is down and other levels of crime are starting to drop, except for homicides.

The number of D.C. police officers who have tested positive for coronavirus is now at 35, and close to 300 officers are in quarantine.

The mayor this week ordered the closure of outdoor fresh food markets unless the D.C. government approves their plan for enforcing social distancing.

Jon Falcicchio, the acting deputy mayor for Planning and Economic Development, said Oxon Run Farmers’ Market has been approved, and he’s working with markets in Columbia Heights and Dupont Circle.

Miss Bowser said she has asked the National Park Service to close Beach Drive to vehicles, not only on weekends as it is now, but also on weekdays to provide more space for people to exercise. She said she asked for the same at Anacostia and Fort Dupont parks.

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