Washington DC and coronavirus: city reeling from riots faces increase in cases

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Ms Bowser on Saturday called on the federal government to declare a “pre-emergency” situation for the District of Columbia, citing not only last week’s riot on Capitol Hill, but the increasingly rapid spread of the coronavirus.

At the start of the pandemic, bars across the city were filled with patrons flouting mask requirements, but now caution is in order. A check by health officials last month found 72% of people were wearing masks correctly. The hospitals are not yet full; about six out of seven beds are occupied.

One positive point: the city’s vaccination program is gaining momentum. On Monday, he started scheduling shots for anyone 65 or older.

Many residents remain wary of the growing threat of the virus. Even after so many months of the pandemic, a lot of things seem uncertain. Drew Schneider, a community blogger in Petworth, a mixed-income neighborhood in northwest Washington, said the virus had gripped her sister’s family, making her, her husband and their two children ill. Their symptoms varied enormously: we felt good. Another was ill for weeks. A third recovered after a few days but suffers from headaches. The fourth had gastrointestinal problems.

Their experience was frightening, said Mr Schneider, and the accelerated spread of the virus was of growing concern to him.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” he says. “You have to keep your guard, keep your mask and wait for the vaccine.”

Julie Wineinger runs Lulabelle’s, an ice cream parlor and café, and Willow, a women’s fashion store, in a commercial block dotted with vacant storefronts. When the pandemic struck in March, Ms Wineinger added basic groceries like bread to her inventory and allowed customers to order online. Her clothing store has closed, except for online orders.

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