As the District and much of the country make a steady transition to a post-pandemic landscape, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has tested positive for COVID-19.
For the next few days, she will work from home.
Bowser made the announcement Thursday morning in a tweet that detailed the events leading up to her discovery. The Twitter thread, which also included a reminder to get tested and get vaccinated, had dozens of likes and retweets within hours.
“After experiencing allergy symptoms this week, I took an at-home test yesterday and a PCR test confirmed the positive result,” Bowser said. “Prayerfully, my household will remain negative. I continue to experience mild cold-like/allergy-like symptoms. I’m grateful that I can work at home while following isolation protocols.”
Bowser counts among several politicians and Washington insiders who’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Jamal Simmons, Vice President Kamala Harris’ communications director.
Earlier this week, Bowser delivered remarks at monthly meetings hosted by Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 8C and 8E. She also participated in the Axios What’s Next Summit and conducted a press conference where she revealed her vision to employ 4,000 police office officers. At the Wilson Building on Monday, Bowser publicly congratulated Sidwell Friends School’s boys and girls basketball teams for their championship wins.
The only virtual event Bowser attended this week was a meeting with Center City Public Charter School students.
Earlier this year, Bowser reversed an order that required proof of vaccination for patrons of restaurants and other public venues. In the weeks following, she lifted the mask mandate for those venues. District public and public charter schools would soon take similar steps, much to the chagrin of residents concerned about unvaccinated youngsters and the emergence of the BA 2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus.
D.C. Department of Health documented the first case of the BA 2 omicron subvariant during the latter part of last month. Though the subvariant is considered more contagious than its predecessors, omicron still accounts for most of the newest COVID-19 cases. Public health experts have said they anticipated an increase in local cases, though not at a rate like what the District experienced in December.
Meanwhile, well-wishes poured in for Bowser, including from Council member Robert White (D-At large), who’s challenging Bowser in the Democratic mayoral primary. A slew of residents also used the development as a call to reinstate mask mandates and proof-of-vaccination requirements.
The Bowser administration has given no indication that it would do so.