D.C. to secure necessary tracing, testing abilities to contain COVID-19 by July

Public health officials in the DMV say D.C. is on track to obtain the necessary contact tracing and COVID-19 testing capabilities by the end of July, The Washington Post reported Monday.

LaQuandra Nesbitt, the director of the District’s health department, told The Post that the District will have enough testing and tracing capacity to contain the virus by July, depending on the public’s cooperation. People need to feel comfortable coming forward for testing, must be willing to self-isolate if they come in contact with the virus and should adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines to curb a resurgence of the virus, The Post reported.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that the District is nearly ready to move into Phase 1 of reopening by the end of the week after the city experienced a surge in cases over the weekend but recorded no new virus-related deaths Tuesday. Bowser is expected to make a final decision on moving forward with Phase 1 Wednesday, The Post reported Monday.

Securing enough contact tracing and testing equipment – which has been limited during the first few months of the outbreak – would allow the District to continue reopening the economy, according to The Post.

States and counties have obtained more supplies, like nasal swabs to test for the virus, while city officials have enlisted hundreds of contact tracers to help detect the virus, The Post reported.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said during a Faculty Senate meeting earlier this month that officials cannot invite students and faculty back to campus in the fall without COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and quarantine capabilities.

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