The D.C. Department of Health said the victim was a 59-year-old man.
He'd been admitted to a local hospital last week with symptoms including a fever and a cough, alongside what officials described a underlying medical conditions.
He later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Officials have not indicated whether the origins of his infection have been traced.
The District has reported 71 patients who have been confirmed as having COVID-19 - a deadly virus that has spread worldwide after originating in China.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “It is with great sadness that we announce a tragic death and, on behalf of our residents, I share our love and condolences with the patient’s family and friends. As a community, we must continue to support one another during these uncertain times. Everyone must do their part so that we can blunt the spread and protect our families, friends, and neighbors.”
The Mayor is holding a news conference at 3 p.m. to update the community on the District's response to the virus.