Whole DC Area May Opt to Remain Closed as Coronavirus Spreads

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The big story Wednesday is whether the entire metropolitan D.C. area will remain closed as parts of Maryland and Virginia plan to gradually reopen in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday morning that she has extended the District's stay-at-home order through June 8 as the numbers of infections and deaths continue to rise. Her previous executive order was set to expire Friday, but leaders said D.C. is not ready to loosen restrictions.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland would wind down the stay-at-home order starting Friday and replace it with an advisory urging people to stay home. Some businesses and churches will be able to open with capacity limits.

But counties will be allowed to set their own pace.

But the Prince George’s County executive and Montgomery County executive each said they expect Hogan to take a regional approach and let counties set their own pace. Illnesses and deaths in these counties, just outside D.C., are still on the rise. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order on Monday that keeps Northern Virginia closed for at least two weeks longer than the remainder of the state

"While the data show Virginia as a whole is ready to slowly and deliberately ease some restrictions, it is too soon for Northern Virginia," he said. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a press conference Monday that he will work with the leaders in Northern Virginia to delay the reopening of the region in Phase1 of his plan. News4's Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey has the details.

Leaders in Arlington County, Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria, among others, asked the state to stay closed to protect residents. 

Here’s where we are Wednesday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area. 

Nearly 67,000 cases of the virus have been diagnosed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. At least 2,943 people have died. Go here to see the data in detail. 

D.C.’s mayor will speak at 11 a.m. Virginia’s governor will speak at 2 p.m. And Maryland’s governor will speak at 5 p.m. You can watch live on NBC4, on or in the NBC Washington app. 

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