D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday announced changes to coronavirus test sites as more people are getting tested and cases are on the rise.
“We’re kinda paying twice in some cases because some of the people coming are insured with District-supported insurance programs, and then we’re also paying for the test,” she said during a press conference. “So we want the insurers to cover their members as they should be doing, as if those members were going to their own doctors’ offices.”
The city is testing 3,500 to 4,200 people each day, which prompted new test site modifications as the “increase” is expected to continue, according to Christopher Geldart, acting director of the Department of Public Works.
A new test site at Nationals Park is opening Monday, the same day that citywide test site hours will be extended.
Morning test sites will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and test sites open later in the day at firehouses will run from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Larger tents will be put up at test sites this weekend to allow for more heat and shelter.
Mr. Geldart said many people recently in line at public test sites say they are getting tested due to potential exposure, plans to travel and work-related reasons.
Health officials reported Wednesday that the 7-day average daily case rate per 100,000 people is 23.1, which is in the “red” zone of reopening phases. There are 156 newly confirmed cases which brings the total to 19,465, and five additional deaths raises the toll to 665.