The District of Columbia has updated a key metric required for the city to move on to Phase Three of its reopening plan as it slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
“When we have people who are close contacts to a positive individual, we recommend that three- to five-day time period after you had a known exposure,” DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said on Wednesday during a press conference.
She explained that this period is when people begin to develop active virus or when the most likely time that they will have active virus replicating on a PCR test.
According to Nesbitt, it was necessary to make the change as it was better understood that a lower positivity rate is important for reopening safely.
The COVID-19 positivity rate in DC must be below five percent as measured by a rolling seven-day average in order for the city to meet the new requirement. The figure was previously under 10 percent for seven straight days.
The previous goals for positivity rates to start Phase One and Phase Two were below 20 percent and below 15 percent, respectively.
DC entered Phase Two of Reopening on June 22. The infectious disease claimed over 580 lives in the District. The total number of positive cases surpassed 12,000, while over 182,000 got tested.