The highest number of Coronavirus, or COVID-19 cases in the District were reported in Ward 6, according data released early Wednesday.
During her COVID-19 conference Wednesday morning, Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the residents and the press should not draw read anything based on that data.
“Our epidemiologists and public health professionals draw no conclusions from the data as reported,” said the Mayor, “except we don’t have any hotspots in the city.”
Ward 6 has the highest population of the eight wards, with 91,093 residents as of 2017. Ward 5, with the next highest population, has the third highest number of reported cases. Ward 8, with the third highest population, has the lowest level of reported cases at 44. Wards 7 and 8 also have the highest numbers of residents under 21 years of age per ward.
However, the data may reflect different health information than who is infected. Discussing the data on social media, residents from Ward 8 noted that other factors besides infection might be affecting numbers, including accessibility to healthcare and to testing.
Noting that officials say there are no hot spots, ANC 8A Chair Troy Donté PRestwood said that the data is still concerning:
The District’s heat map shows cases based on Ward. #Ward6 has the most; #Ward8 has the least. Officials say there are “no hot spots.” Still, the Ward 8 is concerning as residents lack access to adequate medical services & low number could be reflective of that. #CoronavirusDC pic.twitter.com/ojhkRNxl9R
— Troy Donté Prestwood (@TroyDonte) April 1, 2020
There is one hospital east of North Capitol Street. According to DC Health website, there are 10 providers in Ward 7 and 11 in Ward 8 for children and adults.
DC Health is expected to open a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at United Medical Center by late this week.
Stay At Home
Bowser echoed public health officials in saying that the best thing for people to do is to stay at home, adding that the peak of the epidemic has not been reached. She quoted Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci when he emphasized how staying at home, normally viewed as a passive act, is the most aggressive tool in fighting the virus. “Now is the time to put our foot on the accelerator,” she quoted, “It is time for us to stay home as much as possible.”
Bowser said that residents are staying home for children, parents and grandparents, elder neighbors, first responders, doctors and nurses and for everybody who serving us at grocery stores and providing an essential service.
Bowser issued a formal Stay-at-Home order that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, requiring residents to remain at home except to get health care, buy groceries and essential household goods, or perform essential work. Residents are also allowed to participate in recreation with members of their household and as defined by the order. Violation of the order can be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to 90 days.
Reported data and information on COVID-19 in the District is now broken down by age, gender and ward. See more at coronavirus.dc.gov