coronavirus

Local Leaders Consider Reopening Businesses, Roll Out Guidelines

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Maryland, Virginia and D.C. officials are coordinating plans to reopen businesses. Each of the local leaders announced on Thursday what what it would take for them to do so.

Guidelines to reopen set by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan include, expanding testing, increasing hospital surge capacity, ramping up PPE supply and a robust contract tracing operation.

Hogan said on Thursday that testing is far short of where it needs to be.

"Our goal is to be doing 10,000 tests per day and we believe we're going to get there in the next several weeks. There's no doubt it's the number one stumbling block in America," he said.

Residents in the D.C.-area are reviewing the president's road map to reopening the country. They shared their concerns with News4's Jackie Bensen.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she would be announcing a group dedicated to coming up with a timeline for reopening businesses in the city.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is extending business closings through May 8. He said he will be including the business community in the discussions about when to reopen.

"When will our consumers, when will you and I be comfortable going into the places of business," Northam said.

President Donald Trump wants to reopen by or before May 1. He may encourage states with fewer than 1,000 cases and 35 deaths to lift restrictions.

Nine states could qualify including West Virginia, which has 723 cases and 12 deaths. Gov. Jim Justice is deciding on the course of action for West Virginia. He said he fears the cases could rebound if the state decides to reopen businesses too soon.

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