D.C. May Not Reopen For Two To Three Months

It may be awhile longer before Washington, D.C. residents can return to their normal lives.
Government officials in the district held a virtual town hall on Wednesday, where Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. Department of Health, explained in a slide show two plans for reopening the nation’s capital: The “most-stringent” and “less-stringent.”
The most-stringent plan, considered the worst-case scenario, would keep D.C. residents in their homes and businesses shuttered for at least another three months, NBC Washington reported. The least-stringent plan, described as a best-case scenario, would still keep the city closed for another two months. Both plans involve a phased reopening.
D.C.’s current stay-at-home order is in place until at least May 15. Nesbitt, according to NBC, said the city needed more data before making any decisions about reopening.
The news comes as states across the country begin to look into reopening their economies, even as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) came under fire for becoming the first in the nation to reopen parts of the state’s economy one week ago. Kemp allowed certain businesses such as hair salons and barbershops to reopen on April 24, with customers arriving at some businesses as early as 6:30 a.m., The Daily Wire previously reported. One salon, Studio 151, posted stringent policies to protect customers and staff, including waiting in vehicles until a staff member comes to get them for their appointment and taking temperatures at the door.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had also outlined an ambitious timeline for reopening the state, yet Colleyville, Texas, still couldn’t wait. The city reopened on April 24 with social distancing guidelines. Colleyville, too, was met with a backlash from people who think it is too soon to reopen, The Daily Wire reported. Of course, those who said the city was reopening too soon included people who never lost their jobs during the coronavirus shutdown.
One county in California has also reopened, even as Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) laid out a 4-stage plan to reopen the state. That plan will take months to get to the point where gyms and beauty salons can reopen. The four stages are, according to ABC7:
Stage 1: “Safety and Preparedness”
  • Making essential workforce environment as safe as possible
Stage 2: “Lower Risk Work Places”
  • Non-essential manufacturing (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.)
  • Schools
  • Childcare facilities
  • Retail businesses for curbside pick-up
  • Offices where working remotely isn’t possible, but can be modified to make the environment safer for employees
Stage 3: “Higher Risk Work Places”
  • Hair salons
  • Nail salons
  • Gyms
  • Movie theaters
  • Sporting events without live audiences
  • In-person religious services (churches and weddings)
Stage 4: “End of Stay-At-Home” Order
  • Concert venues
  • Convention centers
  • Sporting events with live audiences
And then there’s Virginia, whose governor reflexively put in place a stay-at-home order that won’t expire until June 10 – longer than most other states. An official with the Virginia Health Department initially said Phase One of the Virginia reopening plan “will be a two-year-affair.” The Health Department later clarified the official’s remarks, saying he was referring to vaccine development and not Phase One.
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