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DC Department of Health Confirms First Coronavirus Case

Saturday, March 7, 2020
Risk for community spread in the District remains low

(Washington, DC)–Today, the DC Department of Health (DC Health) announced the District’s first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The person has no prior history of travel outside the United States. DC Health is coordinating closely with the health team where this person is currently being treated and all infection control protocols are being followed. While this is the first case in the District, there is still no widespread community transmission and the general level of risk for residents is low.

Because human coronaviruses most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, DC residents are reminded to take the same measures that are recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses.

  • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve. Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent others from getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.

DC Health does not recommend that healthy individuals wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Residents should only wear a mask if recommended by a healthcare professional. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.

For more information on coronavirus, visit: