DC hits a new milestone in COVID-19 fight: Zero deaths in 4 days

During the same weekend that Florida broke a grim record for the number of COVID-19 cases in a day, the District was on the cusp a more a welcome milestone.

For the first time since DC recorded its first coronavirus related death on March 20, the nation’s capital went four days without a death.

READ MORE: Coronavirus case totals and deaths in the DMV 

READ MORE: Florida reports largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases

Mayor Muriel Bowser and her administration say they are still wary of a resurgence of the virus.

The District has recorded more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases, and nearly 570 deaths since the outbreak began shortly before the spring season.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt noted that although officials are pleased to see the streak of four days, fatalities tend to be a lagging indicator where the virus is concerned.

"While we are very happy to see no loss of life in the District when that occurs, we always see an increase in cases followed by an increase in hospitalizations followed by an increase in deaths. Each one of those indicators tend to lag by two weeks,” Nesbitt said.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

The D.C. officials leading the District’s COVID-19 response also gave FOX 5 an update to the testing backlog FOX 5 first reported on back on June 24.

“That primarily has to do with the amount of testing that’s going on throughout the country because we do use contract labs as well as our own lab,” said Chris Geldart, running DC’s Emergency Management Center, “And with the amount of testing that’s going on nationally, we’re seeing those time frames creep up a little. However, as we look at it today, we’re just over 5-days to return on a test, which is longer than we’d like, but it’s also within our 3-5 or 5-7 day range that we’re at right now.”

FOX 5 still talked to a few people on Monday who still say they hadn’t received their COVID-19 test results after visiting a free testing site in the District.

One of those people posted to Twitter about it, responding to the mayor’s Monday COVID-19 news conference.

Katherine Smyth-Haskins sent FOX 5 a copy of the LabCorp document dated June 25. Smyth-Haskins had visited a Ward 6 free testing site then but says some 18 days later, she still hasn’t received a test result back, even after contacting LabCorp.

“There are so many people who are not in nearly as fortunate circumstances as I am. And this is going to impact them hugely if they can’t rely on being able to get a test as citizens of the District,” she told FOX 5 on Monday.

Smyth-Haskins said she went to get tested after her father-in-law became ill. She and her husband were developing plans to go visit her father-in-law, who lives out of state.

RELATED: Growing concerns about COVID-19 testing delays nationwide

Geldart tells FOX 5 anyone who doesn’t receive a test within seven days should either follow directions followed on their discharge sheet or call: (855) 363-0333. He also directed people to follow instructions on the online portal.

On Monday, Mayor Bowser announced the opening of a third free antibody testing location now open at the Hillcrest Recreational Center in Southeast.

DC and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have teamed up to conduct a Serology Survey. The mayor said on Monday 850 households, all across the city, will be randomly picked and asked to participate in “invite-only antibody testing.”

FOX 5 was told the survey and three antibody testing sites end on August 15th. Both are expected to give officials a diverse pool to really study how COVID19 is impacting the city.

Free transportation to the antibody testing sites and a $25 gift card is being offered to the households that choose to participate.