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Phase 2 begins today. Gatherings of 50 or fewer people are permitted, and restaurants can offer in-door dining below 50 percent capacity. DMV service centers will open Tuesday, but individuals need to book an appointment at dmv.dc.gov. Read more about Phase 2 HERE.
But the city is moving forward without meeting Phase 2 metrics related to contact tracing, according to the government’s own website. Visit coronavirus.dc.gov and you’ll see “Not achieved” next to metrics related to contact tracing. Contact tracing enables officials to track the spread of the coronavirus, by identifying and investigating the close contacts of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and is one of the few tools we have in lieu of a vaccine. And we also experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases, according to data shared on Saturday, and the coronavirus website shows that DC Health had to set the clock back to 11 days of decrease in community spread as a result, after the city initially met the 14-day metric on Friday:
There is confusion about whether D.C. met its own benchmarks to move forward with phased reopening. Sound familiar? There was confusion with Phase 1 metrics as well.
DC Health says we should be able to attempt to contact 90 percent of positive cases within one day of a person being notified of their test result, and 90 percent of positive cases’ close contacts within two days before moving to Phase 2. The agency is measuring this on a seven-day rolling average. As of June 19, contact tracers investigated 78.3 percent of positive cases within one day and, as of June 18, contact tracers investigated 69.8 percent of close contacts within two days. DC Health caveats these data, saying there is an “undercount” for positive cases and there are “too few days to calculate a 7-day average” for close contact cases. Last week, DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said the department is migrating contract tracing data into a new system, so there is a two-day lag—meaning the public isn’t seeing everything her department is seeing.
In a press conference on Monday, Mayor Muriel Bowser was asked about all the confusion around the Phase 2 metrics. “Are we where we are supposed to be according to your metrics for contract tracing?” asked Mark Segraves of NBC4. “Yes we are,” responded Bowser. According to the mayor, the city has traced over 90 percent of positive cases in the last five days. The discrepancy between what the website says and what Bowser says appears to be over whether the city met contract tracing metrics on a 7-day rolling average. So there is reason to suspect that the recent successes of contract tracers will soon be borne out in publicly available data.
Bowser also confirmed a reset of the peak on Saturday. So now, as of Monday, the city reached 13 days of decrease in community spread. Why are we moving forward despite the fact that we are not technically at 14 days of decrease in community spread?
“We achieved the 14 days and that’s the metric and we always know that we can have different experiences with the data,” Bowser said. “We have the ability to go up and down.”
“It is my decision it wouldn’t be worth it to wait a day after we have announced the start date,” she continued.—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
D.C. will stop housing families at the Quality Inn on New York Ave. NE next month. [WCP]
As of June 22, D.C. reported two additional deaths and 38 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total numbers to 535 deaths and 10,058 cases. [EOM]
There are still 11 statues dedicated to the Confederacy inside the Capitol. [DCist]
2020 point-in-time count shows a decrease in family homelessness but increase for singles experiencing homelessness. And once the eviction moratorium lifts, more can become homeless. [Street Sense]
D.C. statehood is closer now than ever before. [Vox]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trump v. Bowser, again. [DCist]
1,100 absentee ballot requests were lost before the June 2 primary. [DCist]
Police researcher Rashawn Ray says police departments need more money and more accountability. [Post]
ICYMI: Martín Miguel Fernandez is launching an independent campaign against Brooke Pintofor the Ward 2 Council seat. [DCist]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
Restaurants debate whether it was worth it to open during Phase 1. [WCP]
COVID-19 is an extinction event for American restaurants as we know them. [Atlantic]
Wine sales are up during the pandemic, but not for small producers. [Post]
Creole on 14th debuts in Columbia Heights. [WBJ]
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Why local artist Drew Dave wanted his new songs to drop on Juneteenth. [WCP]
The International Spy Museum and the Museum of the Bible reopen today. [DCist]
Washington Performing Arts president and CEO Jenny Bilfield talks about live music and the arts amid the COVID-19 crisis. [Washingtonian]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
On Juneteenth, Bradley Beal and Natasha Cloud led a Black Lives Matters march from Capital One Arena to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. [WCP]
The Washington Post editorial board is calling on Dan Snyder to change his team’s name. Now. [Post]
Events DC, which owns and manages RFK Stadium, finally removed a monument of George Preston Marshall, a racist former owner of the local NFL team who refused to sign Black players until facing legal pressure from the Kennedy administration in 1962. [NFL.com, Yahoo]
We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.
Step Afrika!’s virtual Juneteenth celebration is still available to watch on Facebook or YouTube.