Coronavirus cases in the Washington region increase to over 4,000 on April 1

Apr 3, 2020 12:45 AM ET

According to a Washington Post analysis, the number of cases in the district, Maryland and Virginia rose to 4,062. The total number of deaths reported by 8:40 p.m. Wednesday was 82nd

As the region is incredibly quiet in most locations, with residents following Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) and Mayor Muriel E. Bower (D )’s “stay-at-home” instructions, tightening tensions among public servants and healthcare workers who see the rapidly spreading virus are penetrating deeper into their ranks.

In the district, union leaders who represented nurses and correction officers accused Bowser’s government of not doing enough to protect these workers from infection.

The District of Columbia Nurses Association, which represents 2,000 healthcare workers in the country’s capital, said the city’s Department of Health has refused to test hospital staff who treated Covid-19 patients at the United Medical Center and St. Elizabeth’s District Hospital died in the public psychiatric clinic. Both facilities are located in southeastern Washington.

“If an excessive number of clinicians in the district fall ill, it will put enormous strain on DC hospitals to care for during the crisis and we don’t want it to happen in the country’s capital,” said Edward J. Smith. the union’s executive director said in a press release.

The union, which represents the correction officers in DC prison, said the six inmates who had been tested positive had not been properly quarantined. A correction officer also tested positive.

Sgt. Jannease Johnson, a member of the union’s board of directors, said the city’s prison has “the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced”.

“We are afraid to be here,” said Johnson.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Bowser said that all hospitals in the city are now testing their staff. She said officials have received no reports that the prison has not been cleaned properly.

“But, as I will assure you, this is our expectation,” said the mayor. “We will confirm with the prison staff that we follow every safety and health protocol when cleaning the prison and that we will follow every protocol when we have a confirmed case.”

Both Virginia and Maryland again reported one-day records of the number of new cases, a pattern that spanned most of the past 10 days except Monday.

Virginia had test results that showed 234 new cases, a total of 1,486. Maryland said it had 325, for a total of 1,986, according to the Post. The district, which now reports test results in the morning, reported 91 cases, a total of 590 known cases.

Two other DC firefighters tested positive for the corona virus, the fire department said on Wednesday, increasing the number of firefighters with the virus to 21. Twelve district police officers and a civilian member of the department also tested positive.

According to LaQuandra Nesbitt, DC health director, 80 district patients were hospitalized, about 14 percent. Nesbitt said that those admitted to the hospital tend to be older with an average age of 59, although half of the patients in the district are 40 or younger. About a quarter of the patients – 142 – have recovered so far.

The increase in cases was expected as test capacity grows. The number of cases does not indicate a current snapshot either, since processing many test results takes about a week and the development of symptoms in infected people can take up to two weeks.

However, the rising death toll shows health professionals’ concern that the region is in the darkest phase of the crisis.

Virginia reported six new deaths on Wednesday, three of them in Fairfax County. Maryland reported 11 other deaths, four in Montgomery County.

The district said he had two new deaths from Covid-19. One of them was a 71-year-old woman who died Tuesday in her home in southeastern Washington – the fourth victim of the Covid-19 in the city, who was neither tested nor hospitalized before her death.

Although district officials want residents to stay at home as much as possible, “anyone with signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or who is not in their normal health should call their doctor and get advice on what happens should be done, ”said Nesbitt.

Hogan tweeted that in Jerry Manley, a retired Prince George’s County policeman who campaigned for the Special Olympics, he had lost a “good friend, Marylander and a great guy”.

Wednesday was also the first day in April that rents and other bills were due as the crisis further consolidated the region’s economy. After several thousand residents were released after restaurants, gyms, hairdressing salons and other “non-essential” companies were closed, the area officials worked for help.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) announced the launch of a public-private aid fund to help small businesses.

Prince George’s County Council, at its virtual meeting, approved $ 10 million from the district’s Economic Development Corporation, and $ 5 million in aid is provided by local banks and private groups.

“These resources will be critical to maintaining our business and nonprofit communities if we can weather this storm,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “Coronavirus will not have the last word and we will continue to use all our resources and partnerships to ensure that we can tackle this unprecedented crisis together.”

Applications will open on April 13th. Small businesses can apply for up to $ 100,000 in loans and up to $ 10,000 in funding.

The Economic Development Corporation will host a webinar on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to inform the business community about the relief fund and other resources. District officials said they had received approximately $ 6,000 in applications for a $ 25 million grant from a local business aid fund by Wednesday.

Bowser said she “likely” will announce in the next two weeks whether the DC school’s closure will continue after April 24.

“It will all depend on our ability to show in the city that we have fewer infections in our city,” the mayor said in a phone call to community leaders.

Virginia has closed personal classes for the rest of the school year, while school closings in Maryland also last until April 24.

In Virginia, Northam stressed the need for residents to follow Monday’s order to stay at home, and acknowledged that this would cause short-term difficulties, but said that there was a need to increase the spread of the coronavirus prevent.

“The sooner we can leave this crisis behind, the sooner our lives will normalize and the faster our economy will recover,” he said, adding: “I want the Virginians to be realistic in their expectations. You have to Knowing the truth, no sugar coating. “

The governor said Wednesday the state received its third shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the national supply, including face shields, robes and masks.

“But we need more,” he said. “We continue to work on all available options,” including pressure on state companies to help manufacture protective equipment.

Northam said he would decide on Friday where to build temporary hospital facilities to treat virus patients. The US Army Corps of Engineers has identified several possible locations.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) And 24 other Democratic senators sent a letter to the Senate leaders asking them to allocate a larger portion of the recently approved $ 2 trillion stimulus package to the district.

The letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) And Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) states that the district guaranteed at least 1.25 at least each state Earned billions of dollars. In its current form, the relief package treats the district like a U.S. territory and reduces its share by about $ 700 million.

“Regardless of D.C. Statehood’s views, it is shameful and unprecedented to change the district’s treatment in a bill to support the emergency response,” the letter said. “Controlling the spread of Covid-19 is a common priority for all states, and drastically underfunding an urban area that is closely linked to the surrounding states and the northeast corridor is short-sighted and inexcusable.”

Dana Hedgpeth, Peter Hermann, Justin Wm. Moyer, Darran Simon, Rebecca Tan, Ovetta Wiggins and Jenna Portnoy contributed to this report.

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