D.C. mayor says city might be able to begin process of re-opening May 29

The process may be delayed if health officials observe any 'spikes' in coronavirus cases

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday, May 21
(Tom Williams/Getty)
Last Updated:
May 21, 2020 - 2:46pm

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday that the nation's capital may be able to begin its lengthy re-opening process in eight days, so long as health officials do not observe any "spikes" in coronavirus cases. 

The mayor made the announcement as all 50 states have already some some partial reopening measures, with Connecticut earlier this week being the last.

Bowser, a Democrat, said the federal district will be "in a posture to begin" reopening its closed economy May 29 so long as health authorities are satisfied with the direction of the pandemic there. 

Like many government authorities throughout the United States, Bowser in late March unilaterally ordered the closing of much of the District's economy as the pandemic began to spread. 

The city's reopening could indicate the possibility of Congress returning from a self-imposed break. Congressional physician Brian Monahan last month reportedly urged members of Congress to stay away from the city, citing the number of cases there and the purported risk it posed to members.

The mayor and local government officials have both offered wildly divergent estimates of the pandemic's progress over the past weeks and months. Bowser in early April estimated that infections could peak in June in the District; two days later she revised that prediction and said the peak would likely come in May.

In early April, meanwhile, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the Washington region was "about two weeks behind New York." Washington currently has about 5% of the cases of New York, and about 3.6% of its deaths.