WASHINGTON – Washington, D.C., is emerging from its pandemic quarantine.
With COVID-19 numbers dropping, officials in the nation’s capital have announced a reopening timeline that would see all indoor capacity limits eliminated by early June, but with mask requirements still in place.
Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a two-stage plan on Monday, with capacity restrictions on most indoor activities lifting on May 21, with the exception of bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues. Those final categories would see their capacity limits removed by June 11.
The two dates represent a pair of major crossroads moments for Washington, both for the daily lives of its residents and for its hospitality-heavy economy, driven by tourism and conventions.
“We are quickly and enthusiastically approaching containment level of the virus in our jurisdiction,” said Health Department Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. “But in the ensuing weeks, we continue to need to remain vigilant.”
Virus metrics show daily case rates are down to levels not seen since last summer. Nesbitt said contract tracing for new virus cases “would remain a 24/7 operation.”
As of May 10, Bowser said more than 200,000 D.C. residents had been fully vaccinated. She also announced that the overflow field hospital that took over Washington’s convention center last year would be dismantled.
“I’m grateful we never had to use it,” Bowser said.
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