WASHINGTON - While some states are already easing up on restrictions prompted by the fight to slow COVID-19, the District, Maryland and Virginia are still hoping to see more improvement before finalizing a reopening.
The White House says reopening can start if a state has two weeks of downward numbers. Today, Maryland announced that barbershops and salons can start appointment services for certain people, and those people must wear masks.
Meanwhile, barbershops and bowling alleys in Georgia will reopen on Wednesday; restaurants and theaters, next week.
Leaders in the DMV are still cautious.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says while the DMV has flattened the curve, the numbers – the cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19 – are not down.
“So the President’s plan he announced Thursday night calls for, before he suggests before you can open any state you have to have 14 days of downward trends of numbers, sadly in our region, we have 25,000 cases and a 1000 deaths, so under the president’s own plan we can’t open yet,” Hogan said.
Although Georgia and South Carolina don’t meet the White House’s recommendation of 14 days of a downward trend, they’re already easing restrictions.
Some local leaders – like Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson – say the say the sad fact is, once the city lifts restrictions, it’s like some of the small businesses won’t re-open because they won’t survive the shutdown.
Those that do will face a very different marketplace with social distancing guidelines likely remaining in place.
“There’s some folks that just assume that whatever the date is, some day in June someday in July, someday in August, things are just going to magically snap your fingers and everything’s back to normal and I think the unfortunate reality is that it’s not going to be that way, we’ll have a long path back to where to where we were at,” Wilson said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Council of State Chambers on Tuesday announced the creation of a joint task force to support and coordinate the Federal and state approaches to reopening the national economy.
It also recently announced a grim new poll showing that one out of four small businesses are in danger of closing permanently.