Bowser: DC Phase Two coronavirus reopening could start Monday

The District is on the right track for the Phase Two coronavirus reopening, Mayor Muriel Bowser said during a Wednesday news conference, but officials are exercising caution.

Bowser could sign an executive order to move D.C. into Phase Two on Monday, as long as virus data continue the downward trend.

As of Wednesday, D.C. said it has succeeded in hitting 13 of 14 days of sustained decline in community transmission, a key metric for Phase Two.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” Bowser said.

Officials had previously said the earliest D.C. could move into Phase Two was Friday. Concerns over the contact tracing metric have pushed a possible Phase Two reopening to Monday.

“It’s the one thing we have not met, and I think also the community spread. I think we have another day to achieve,” Bowser said, who will announce a final decision on Phase Two on Friday.

D.C. is providing guidance to prepare for Phase Two online.

The second leg of reopening comes with a loosening of restrictions put in place when the pandemic first erupted. But some limitations will remain.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people. Nonessential businesses, in addition to curbside pickup, can have patrons and customers inside at 50% capacity for personal services. Appointments and station distancing at 6 feet will still be required.

Other personal services such as tanning, tattoo parlors, waxing, threading, cryotherapy, facials and nail salons will be able to reopen.

Restaurants will be permitted to have indoor dining at 50% capacity.

For fitness and recreation, gyms and health clubs — as well as yoga, dance and workout studios — can open with a capacity limit of five people per 1,000 square feet. Classes will also need to be limited, with a 10-foot distance between patrons.

Department of Parks and Recreation pools will be able to open for what Bowser called “structured activities” such as lessons and lap swimming. A plan for what that should look like is in the works.

Playgrounds, courts and fields will be open for casual play. League sports will not yet be allowed but low- to moderate-contact sports will be allowed for casual play.

Indoor services will be allowed at houses of worship, though Bowser said, “We encourage virtual services to continue.” There will be a 100-person, or 50% capacity, limit, whichever is less. Choirs, singing and shared items are also discouraged at those services.

Guidance for child care centers includes daily health screenings:

  • Child care providers should perform a daily health screen for all children and staff entering
    the facility. Anyone with possible COVID-19 symptoms should not enter the facility and contact their health care provider.
  • If someone develops any symptoms during the course of activities, there should be a plan in place for that person to immediately isolate and then leave the facility. Seeking medical attention next is recommended.

DC coronavirus numbers

Health officials reported 29 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday. D.C.’s total number of known cases is 9,847.

Three more District residents have died, bringing the total deaths to 523.

Track the District’s coronavirus data online.

Below are maps of coronavirus cases by ward, neighborhood and community spread.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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