- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2020

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday that coronavirus-related restrictions “may” need to be expanded amid a recent hike in cases.

“We are watching our metrics and our experience with the virus very closely in the District and we will make changes as we think that the experience with the virus suggests,” Miss Bowser said during a press conference for a building dedication.

The daily case rate reported by D.C. health officials Thursday went back to the “red” zone of phased reopening metrics, as positive cases reached 15.8 per 100,000 people. The increase comes the day after 206 new cases were confirmed, the highest number since May.

About 45% of new infections in the “past couple of days” were people between the ages of 25 to 40 years old, said D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. She added that most cases are linked to “small intimate settings” in which “social distancing and mask-wearing is not adhered to consistently.”

The District entered and has remained in “yellow” Phase Two of its three-part reopening plan since June 22. According to the guidelines, “potential dial-backs are evaluated in conjunction with other data to inform decisions to re-establish restrictions.”

As of Thursday, the D.C. Health Department confirmed 18,507 total cases, of which 128 are new, and 657 total deaths.

Aside from the updated daily case rate, the community spread, health system capacity, and community engagement metrics remain within Phase Two and Phase Three levels.

Virginia and Maryland also are seeing a recent spike in cases.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan implemented new virus-related restrictions on Tuesday including reduced 50% indoor capacity at businesses. The governor is scheduled to hold a brief Thursday afternoon.

County officials in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel also announced tightened rules this week for gatherings and indoor capacity at businesses.

Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has not expanded restrictions, but did urge residents on Wednesday to “double down on doing the things we know prevent the spread of this virus.”

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