D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that her administration has started “worst-case scenario planning” for a possible coronavirus outbreak, even though there are currently no reports of infections in the District or the DMV area.
Bowser’s statement came on March 3, while a patient in D.C. is still awaiting test results for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
As part of the plan, the District has designated $500,000 for the purchase of supplies for first responders and front-line staff who may face direct contact with the virus.
There will also be specific questions to be directed at those calling 911 in order to identify possible coronavirus cases.
The D.C. Department of Health has been working with the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency under the emergency plan.
Samples from six people in the nation’s capital, including the one waiting for results, were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for coronavirus testing. Five of them tested negative. D.C. has now become able to test for coronavirus at its own forensic science labs.
As for the DMV area, six sick individuals in Maryland have been cleared, while seven others are awaiting results. In Virginia, test results of eight people recently turned out negative.
The virus has infected almost 100,000 people and claimed over 3,000 lives around the world. The number of infections is at least 130 nationwide.