This article was originally published on March 24, 2019. It was last updated April 22, 2020.

The outbreak of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) has made tens of thousands of people worldwide (and counting) sick, with thousands dead and the crisis deepening daily. Officials have declared the disease a worldwide pandemic. The virus has risen to prominence in the District of Columbia and surrounding region in a few short weeks, taxing healthcare infrastructure and taking a severe toll on the economy. Amid daily and even hourly news during a time with many of the region’s residents social-distancing at home, the D.C. Policy Center has compiled a high-level perspective on the timeline of the local crisis.

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The novel coronavirus emerges

 

The new coronavirus emerged in China, at a seafood and poultry market. Within two months, it spread throughout the world causing deaths and severe economic hardship.

 

Late 2019

 

January 2020

 

February 2020

 

 


 

 

COVID-19 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region

 

By early March, the virus had arrived in local Washington, D.C. area. Closings, shutdowns, and emergency measures followed rapidly as officials worked to reduce transmission of the virus through social distancing, and prepare the region for the pandemic’s health and economic impacts. Items specific to the District of Columbia are styled in bold.

 

Saturday, March 7

 

Wednesday, March 11

 

Friday, March 13

 

Sunday, March 15

 

Monday, March 16

 

Tuesday, March 17

 

Wednesday, March 18

 

Thursday, March 19

 

Friday, March 20

 

Sunday, March 22

 

Monday, March 23

 

Tuesday, March 24

 

Thursday, March 26

 

Monday, March 30

 

Tuesday, March 31

 

Tuesday, April 7

 

Wednesday, April 8

 

Friday, April 10

 

Wednesday, April 15

 

Tuesday, April 21

 

Friday, April 24

 

 


 

 

Looking ahead: Postponements and deadlines

 

Tuesday, May 12

 

Friday, May 15

 

Friday, May 29

 

Tuesday, June 30

 

Wednesday, July 15

 

Monday, July 20

 


 

If you have corrections or additions to offer, please email the author at aimee@dcpolicycenter.org.

D.C. Policy Center Fellows are independent writers, and we gladly encourage the expression of a variety of perspectives. The views of our Fellows, published here or elsewhere, do not reflect the views of the D.C. Policy Center.

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