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THE NEWS:

Note: The mayor held her press conference at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon, so we held this newsletter until after that.

There is no shortage of news. In the midst of days of protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, D.C. is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Friday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the metrics D.C. would need to meet before moving to Phase 2, and what would trigger reinstating restrictions. The effects of entering Phase 1, along with the days of protests, are still unknown as officials are still analyzing test results and positive cases. 

DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt says the earliest her team could advise the mayor on phased reopening is June 19, because it takes at least three weeks to “fully appreciate” how phased reopening so far has impacted D.C. “The incubation for this virus is itself 14 days,” said Nesbitt during Friday’s press conference. “The actions that people started taking on May 29 would not manifest themselves for the following two weeks.”   

By way of background, D.C. moved to Phase 1 when Bowser lifted restrictions of her stay-at-home order on May 29. Phase 1 means residents are no longer ordered to stay at their residences, but gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, along with other changes. Bowser said she hasn’t even drafted her mayoral order for Phase 2. In the recommendations from the mayor’s advisory group, Phase 2 could possibly mean allowing small gatherings of 50 and allowing in-door dining to resume, along with other changes to daily living.   

What would trigger a Phase 0 or return to the original stay-at-home order from March? “We see it as a valve going on and going off so my expectation would be that the health department would consider some things that had to be turned off,” said Bowser in response to this reporter’s question. “One good example that Dr. Nesbitt gave is that if we thought that we had some hospital capacity problems—that wouldn’t trigger going back to staying at home, that would trigger intervention with our hospital providers.” 

Nesbitt says D.C. is seeing about 900 tests per day. As of June 5, DC Health announced four additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 79 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 479 and 9,199, respectively. Note: DC Health is looking at more granular data of cases that are posted daily on the government website to determine how the city is faring in relation to its metrics of phased reopening. Right now, DC Health has not met any of the metrics needed for Phase 2. Here are the metrics for Phase 2 and what would trigger possible interventions, as well as where we are today: 

“We don’t know what the impact of these demonstrations will be on our COVID experience in D.C.,” said Bowser. “We hope that we won’t see a spike and we have to measure everything that happens that’s within our control and what’s not within our control because the bottom line is this: We still have to be able to accommodate anyone who gets sick and goes into the hospital.”

Public health experts say that police tactics—the use of tear gas—can exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus virus. When asked by this reporter to comment on this during today’s presser, Nesbitt said “I’m not aware of any correlation in the way you posed the question to be able to opine.” —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Mayor Bowser renames the street corner of 16th and H streets NW, right by St. John’s Church, “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and unveils a mural that says “Black Lives Matter” in 35-foot-tall bright yellow letters that spans two blocks near the White House. The local chapter of Black Lives Matter calls the move “performative and a distraction.” [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter

  • The Trumpadministration employed 7,600 law enforcement officers, including 1,700 active-duty military, to control D.C. protests. [Bloomberg

  • Bowser writes Trump, requesting that he withdraw all “extraordinary” federal police and military in D.C. [Twitter

  • Local chapters of ACLU and Black Lives Matter sue Trump administration over tear gas at Lafayette Square [DCist

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says D.C. statehood bill will get a vote in his chamber by the end of the year. [Post

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • D.C. Council will consider overdue police reforms in response to recent killings. [WCP]

  • Democrats for Education Reform founder and former director Catharine Bellinger admits the political attack mailers were wrong. [WCP]

  • Janeese Lewis George unseated Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd despite attacks on her police reform platform. [Intercept]

  • Brooke Pinto declares victory in Ward 2. [Twitter]

  • NPR told its reporters not to call George Floyd’s death a “killing.” [Washingtonian]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The couple behind D.C.’s next Tropical Smoothie Cafe talk franchising as a pathway to ownership, mentoring young adults, and bringing more healthy food to the city. [WCP]

  • Pom Pom from Carlie Steiner closes permanently in Petworth. [WCP]

  • D.C. pastry chefs launch a national bake sale benefiting Black Lives Matter. [Washingtonian]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Local quartet Br’erreturn to their roots with new album Take Away From Me The Noise Of Your Songs. [WCP]

  • Subversive and fascinating, Shirley, now streaming on Hulu, is worth the watch. [WCP]

  • American University professor and Antiracist Research & Policy Center director Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestselling book How to Be an Antiracist, is headed to Boston University. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • D.C. resident and high school senior Rajah Caruthhas organized the George Floyd 100, a virtual NASCAR racing event that will air live tonight at 8:30 p.m. to help raise funds for the George Floyd Memorial Fund. [nascar.com]

  • The chances of an MLB season happening in 2020 took a hit with the league rejecting the players’ proposal for a 114-game season. [AP]

  • ICYMI: Some safety tips from epidemiologists in case you’re planning on playing tennis this weekend or at any point during the pandemic. [WCP]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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