The last portions of the D.C. area that were still shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic will reopen Monday as leaders fear that widespread protests against police brutality could lead to a new wave of infections.
Montgomery County entered reopening phase one Monday at 6 a.m. Prince George’s County will follow at 5 p.m. Both counties kept restrictions in place as D.C., Northern Virginia and other parts of Maryland gradually reopened.
Under phase one, restaurants can seat customers outdoors, with tables six feet apart and no more than six people at a table. Nonessential businesses can offer curbside pickup. Salons and barbershops can operate by appointment.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday that she fears the demonstrations downtown, which have attracted people from across the region and beyond, will spread the virus. Not all protesters wore face masks or kept their distance from each other.
“I think as a nation we have to be concerned about rebound,” Bowser said.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also expressed concern.
“When you put hundreds or thousands of people together in close proximity, when we’ve got this virus all over the streets, it’s not healthy,” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Bowser is set to address the public at 11 a.m. Monday. She’s expected to speak about the pandemic and unrest in the city. You can watch live in the NBC Washington app and on NBCWashington.com.
Here’s where we are Monday in the fight against the coronavirus in the D.C. area, and how the pandemic continues to change our lives.
Nearly 105,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, according to the latest data. At least 4,159 people have died. Go here to see more data.
D.C. restaurants offered outdoor seating starting Friday, for the first time in months, but the continued threat of the virus was ever-present.
At Dacha Beer Garden in the Shaw neighborhood, would-be customers had to answer a series of questions about any possible exposure to the COVID-19 and whether they had shown any symptoms.
“Please keep your mask on when you’re not dining and drinking,” hostess Amy Symonds told patrons, laying out a series of rules and taking down everyone's’ phone numbers before they were seated at socially distanced tables.
“It’s good to have some level of normalcy again,” said Jeff Gullo, who was one of the first in line to get in. Fifteen minutes after opening, nearly two dozen people were seated at the popular all-outdoor facility.
Car break-ins have surged by as much as 50% in some parts of our region, the News4 I-Team reported. Thefts increased between mid-March and late May.
Fewer parents in D.C. and Montgomery County have signed their children up for kindergarten so far.
“Some of our families are taking a wait and see approach. They want to know more about what school will look like,” a Montgomery County Public Schools administrator said.