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'This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store' | White House coronavirus expert suggests DC's a potential virus hot spot

Dr. Deborah Birx is looking at D.C. as one of the U.S.'s next big hot spots for COVID-19. And limiting your trips to the grocery store and pharmacy could help.

WASHINGTON — This story originally published on April 4. Read the latest coronavirus updates in these links 

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The next two weeks could be the most important for saving the lives of residents in the District, and according to one White House coronavirus task force member, limiting your trips to the grocery store and pharmacy could help.

While New York, New Jersey and Louisiana are seeing the worst of the coronavirus cases and deaths, the White House is looking elsewhere to see where the virus could have the biggest impacts next — D.C. is one of those places. 

Dr. Deborah Birx is looking at Pennsylvania, Colorado and D.C. as the United States' next big hot spots for the coronavirus, She said Sunday that 15 percent per 100,000 D.C. citizens are testing positive in coronavirus lab tests.

Birx also said Sunday that the District is starting to become defined more than other places in data maps that are being presented during White House news briefings, which have included President Donald Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Vice President Mike Pence.

She also said in recent statements that avoiding trips to the grocery store and pharmacy over these next two weeks could really help flatten the curve of the coronavirus. 

"The next two weeks are extraordinarily important, Birx said. "This is the moment to do everything that you can on the president's guidelines. This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store and not be going to the pharmacy – but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe.”

In regards to D.C., Pennsylvania and Colorado being the next virus hot spots in the U.S., Birx said: 

"We're watching them because they are starting to go up in the upside of the curve. Where hoping and believing that if people mitigate strongly (continue to practice social distancing) the work that they did over the last two weeks, will blunt that curve and they won't have that same upward slope and peak that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island are having."

Birx's answer came after a question by a White House media member to elaborate on why she believes these spots are of concern.

Birx is getting this information and expecting projections toward D.C., due to the data she is receiving. Since the beginning of the White House's coronavirus task force, Dr. Birx has been the numbers guru. She is usually the point person for breaking down data that specifically shows COVID-19's impact on the U.S.

Her advice for people in these areas is to work hard to follow guidelines from Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

There are more than 900 positive cases of the coronavirus in D.C., and at least 21 people have died from the virus in the District.

To see more on the data that the White House is speaking on during its news conferences and to learn more about what is being said, click here

Credit: AP
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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