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The number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia was 97,078 on Wednesday, with 48,423 cases in Maryland, 40,249 in Virginia and 8,406 in the District. The number of virus-related deaths reached 2,392 in Maryland, 1,281 in Virginia and 445 in the District, for a total of 4,118 fatalities.

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said the city will gradually start to lift restrictions in place since March, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, after meeting key thresholds to contain new virus infections. The city’s current stay-at-home and business closure orders had been set to run through June 8.

• D.C., Maryland and Virginia reported 1,715 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and 109 deaths. There are now 97,078 cases and 4,118 deaths in the three jurisdictions.

• Communities in Northern Virginia can begin easing their pandemic-related shutdowns on Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said, arguing that the region is seeing a decline in hospitalizations and the percentage of positive tests for the novel coronavirus even as the rate and overall number of infections remain far higher than in the rest of the state.

• Northam’s move to begin reopening even the hardest-hit parts of the state came along with a tighter restriction on wearing face coverings in enclosed public places. Northam said the mask requirement will be enforced by the state health department, not police. Businesses that let employees work without masks could lose their licenses.

May 27, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT

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By John Woodrow Cox
May 27, 2020 at 7:06 PM EDT

Questions about the DMV’s plans to reopen? Find answers here.

Leaders throughout Washington, Maryland and Virginia have announced plans to begin gradually reopening or expand reopening plans by week’s end — though the specific approaches vary widely. To learn more about the details, read below:

By John Woodrow Cox
May 27, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT

Hogan says he was ‘a little bit shocked’ at photos of people on the Ocean City boardwalk

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he was “a little bit shocked” to see the photos of people congregating on the boardwalk in Ocean City over the Memorial Day weekend, but he added that his office could do nothing other than encourage people to follow social distancing rules.

The governor said he was concerned that some people are not taking the pandemic seriously enough, describing their actions as “reckless.”

“It didn’t appear to be too safe to me,” he said of photos and videos of people crammed on the boardwalk.

Hogan said the Ocean City mayor will put up more warning signs and instruct police officers to encourage people to be more careful.

“But you can’t control everyone’s individual behavior,” he said. “We can only encourage them.”

Hogan said he’s encouraged that the “vast majority” of Maryland residents are “being thoughtful, they are being careful.”

On Twitter, some Democratic leaders questioned Hogan’s reaction.

“Why would anyone be shocked that crowds of people flocked to the boardwalk after it had been officially opened?” Montgomery County Council member Evan Glass (D-At Large) tweeted. “What am I missing?”

By Ovetta Wiggins
May 27, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT

Northern Virginia businesses weigh reopening after governor says he will lift restrictions

Angela Sitilides, owner of the boutique cosmetic store Bellacara in Alexandria, limited sales to curbside pickup initially, but plans to allow up to five customers at a time inside starting Friday now that Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is lifting restrictions.

She and her three employees spray all of her products with alcohol each hour. She also installed a sink to ensure patrons can wash their hands if they wish.

“We’re hoping that when people do venture out, they’ll see everything we’ve done,” Sitilides said. “It’s going to be about trust. It’s going to be about knowing that we’ve done everything we need to do to make sure that their shopping environment feels safe.”

The most difficult issue for Sitilides, Bellacara’s owner for 20 years, was figuring out how to safely allow customers to try product samples, which will now be offered in single-use packaging.

“We recognize that people need to try stuff,” she said. “We recognize that people need to socially distance.”

Restaurant owners are making similar plans to reopen on Friday. Dave Nicholas, a managing partner at Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which oversees eight restaurants in the area, said he plans to reopen Friday with social distancing and about one-third capacity at each restaurant.

At one of his places, Vola’s Dockside Grill in Old Town, just 40 of the 110 seats will be available. Nicholas said employees will wear gloves and masks and have their temperature checked several times each day. While he will allow patrons to use restrooms inside, he will enforce mask wearing, per state guidelines.

“We’re not in a rush, going to take things cautiously and slowly," he said. "We’re thinking if we get to 30 percent of our normal volume in the months to come, that will be good.”

Nicholas said the restaurants will eventually provide customers with QR codes to look at the menu on their phones and will put items on the table only after the customer is seated to ensure everything has been properly sanitized.

By Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff
May 27, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT

Union representing Maryland state workers questions Hogan’s reopening decision

Maryland’s largest union of state workers criticized the governor’s reopening strategy as premature and unsafe for their members, who have held protests over the lack of precautions and personal protective equipment provided to state employees.

“State employees continue to be stricken daily by the virus, leading us to worry how state employees will be able to operate certain facilities. There is currently no universal testing of all state employees nor adequate PPE for them,” Patrick Moran, president of AFSCME Maryland Council 3, said in a statement.

By Erin Cox
May 27, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT

Maryland lifts more prohibitions, allowing outdoor dining and youth sports starting Friday

Maryland can “safely move forward” into the next phase of the state’s reopening plan starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday as he announced plans to lift statewide restrictions on outdoor dining, youth sports, day camps and outdoor pools.

Local governments retain the authority to decide whether to fully implement Hogan’s plan. Two weeks ago, nearly 60 percent of the state’s residents lived in jurisdictions whose leaders chose not to move forward immediately with the first phase of the reopening.

The governor cited ramped-up testing, a fully functioning contact-tracing operation and declining hospitalizations as key milestones that allow the next stage of reopening. Hogan, who normally appears at his news conferences with public health experts beside him, stood alone on Wednesday but said his entire task force unanimously supports moving to fully implement the first phase of reopening.

“We have been encouraged by all of the successful reopenings across the state,” Hogan (R) said, adding that residents must continue to take “personal responsibility” to keep themselves safe and practice social distancing.

“If you can stay home, you should continue to do so as much as you can,” he said.

Outdoor pools will be limited to 25 percent capacity. Restaurants and social organizations such as the American Legion may begin to serve patrons outdoors under a list of conditions that include sanitizing procedures and keeping tables at least six feet apart. The governor encouraged local governments to come up with creative ways to help restaurants survive.

“We love the idea of closing streets for outside seating,” he said.

Youth sports are encouraged to focus on individual skill development while day camps will be limited to 10 children per group, require everyone to wear masks and bar out-of-state campers.

Drive-in movies can also safely reopen, he said.

The governor said that if trends hold, he could move into the next phase of his plan next week, which would allow nonessential businesses to reopen.

Hogan said the state’s proportion of tests that come back positive — a key measurement of the pandemic’s scope — has been declining since it peaked at nearly 27 percent on April 7. As of Wednesday, it had dropped by half, to 12.8 percent, he said, though he noted that it was significantly higher in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

White House adviser Deborah Birx said last week that the positivity rate in the D.C. metro area was among the worst in the country.

By Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins
May 27, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT

Confusion and anger at closed testing site in Prince George’s County

People were furious after waiting for more than an hour Wednesday at a state-run testing site in Hyattsville — only to discover it had been closed without notice.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that free testing would be available at the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program station in Hyattsville beginning May 22. On its opening day, more than 1,200 people were tested, said Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci. Given the demand, the state decided to open a bigger testing site at Six Flags America in Woodmore on Friday. Ricci said another site will open Thursday in Clinton.

But Prince George’s County Council member Deni Taveras (D-District 2) said residents were under the impression the Hyattsville site would be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. She and other local officials said they were not told by the state that the site would close after a single day.

“I don’t have a clue,” she said. “There is so much need, and no one knows where they can get tested that’s near where they live.”

The area Taveras represents is one of the hardest hit in the state, with the 20783 Zip code that includes Langley Park and parts of Hyattsville reporting 1,739 cases — by far the highest of any Zip code in the state. Prince George’s County has the most cases of any jurisdiction in Maryland, reporting 14,100 as of Wednesday, according to state data. Montgomery County, which has a bigger population, has the second highest number of reported infections at 10,467.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) tweeted Wednesday that the state “did not notify us they were closing their testing site in Hyattsville today.”

“As a reminder, any resident seeking testing can call our County Health Department hotline at 301-883-6627,” she wrote. “We regret so many of our residents were inconvenienced by this unexpected closing.”

U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), whose district includes Prince George’s County, described the closure as “an outrage as people in Prince George’s are hurting.”

“As we rush to reopen, this is not how we protect public health,” he tweeted. “We don’t need spin & empty promises, we need a real testing plan.”

By Rachel Chason
May 27, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT

D.C. area mother and daughter die of covid-19 just days apart

Annie Mae Fuller had no plans to slow down. At age 82, the retired forensic technician was a regular in her Prince George’s County church. She was known for her sweet potato pies and ability to charm men of all ages.

“My grandmother was really spry,” said Tonya Joyner. “She wasn’t in a nursing home, she lived in her home. If you were a man and looking nice she would talk to you.”

Joyner and her husband, Ceasar Joyner, 56, shared that home with Fuller in Suitland. On April 8, they welcomed a new baby girl.

But before the generations could gather together, Fuller developed a fever and cough. She was hospitalized with covid-19.

The family’s concerns grew as Fuller’s daughter, Connie D. Madden, 64, a dialysis patient, also contracted the coronavirus. Mother and daughter died within days of each other in April.

By Hamil R. Harris
May 27, 2020 at 3:50 PM EDT

Churches in Northern Virginia and D.C. face dramatically different restrictions as region prepares to reopen

As the District and Northern Virginia both take their first steps toward reopening Friday, Virginia’s rules allow for much larger worship services than D.C.'s.

In Virginia, churches and other religious congregations can hold services as long as they keep their sanctuaries no more than 50 percent full — which might mean hundreds of people would be allowed in larger churches. In the District, by contrast, houses of worship must obey the same restrictions as private gatherings: no more than 10 people at a time.

While some congregations have been eager to get back to in-person worship as soon as local governments permitted it, others are still urging caution.

Northern Virginia’s Catholic churches can resume in-person services starting this weekend, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington said. The decision about whether to reopen will be left to each parish. Those that do hold Masses must require all attendees to wear masks at all times.

Bishop Michael Burbidge urged Catholics not to attend parishes other than their own, to help limit the crowd size at those churches that do reopen, and encouraged elderly or immunocompromised members to keep worshiping by live stream instead of in person.

In the District, full worship services will be impractical for most churches because of the limitations on crowd sizes.

At Third Street Church of God, the Rev. Cheryl Sanders said that she would invite fewer than 10 people into the building: “a preacher, deacon, worship leader, musician, liturgical dancer, audio technician, video technician, teller and trustee.” Together, they can host a live-streamed worship service for the rest of the congregation.

Leaders in some denominations, including United Methodist churches in the District and its Maryland suburbs and the Episcopal church in the District, said they are not ready to reopen yet, regardless of the government’s policies.

By Julie Zauzmer
May 27, 2020 at 3:08 PM EDT

D.C. restaurants, barbershops take cautious steps toward reopening

Though restaurants and small businesses in the District will be allowed to welcome customers on a limited basis starting Friday, a return to true pre-pandemic normalcy remains many months away.

Andy Shallal, who owns the local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets, called his management team to his 14th street location Wednesday morning after he learned that D.C. would enter Phase One reopening in less than 48 hours. He spent the rest of the afternoon leading his team through trial runs of socially distanced outdoor service to make sure they are ready to greet customers at 11 a.m. Friday.

“We have been working for the last two months to make sure we are ready for this on all levels,” Shallal said. “And I think we are ready.”

Since early May, Shallal has rehired 20 percent of his staff in preparation to seat customers after months of offering only takeout and delivery. By Wednesday night, he said, his management team will know how to best sanitize tables and when to encourage customers to download and order from an app, which Shallal hopes will limit interaction between patrons and employees. He has already spaced tables six feet apart and condensed the brunch menu to make sure his kitchen staff, which has decreased in size, can keep up with demand.

Other restaurant owners in the city, however, can’t take advantage of the rollback in restrictions. Sushi Capitol, with locations in Chinatown, Capitol Hill and near the Convention Center, will not seat customers anytime in the foreseeable future.

“When our mayor says to take a step forward, I want to follow wholeheartedly,” said Can Yurdagul, who owns the sushi restaurants. “But outdoor seating is just not applicable to me.”

Like many local establishments, Sushi Capitol has no outdoor space. Restaurant owners can apply to extend seating into sidewalks or streets for limited periods, but Yurdagul plans to stick with what has worked throughout the pandemic. He is especially reluctant to serve sushi in the hot D.C. summer because the raw food could threaten his customers’ health.

“This is not the time to be financially motivated,” he said. “It is the time to be health motivated.”

Sheila Weaver, a barber at Wrenn’s Barber shop in the Navy Yard, is similarly hesitant to reopen, though barbers will be allowed to see customers by appointment starting Friday. She spent Wednesday morning texting her regulars, trying to gauge their interest.

“I have to see what my customers want because they are the ones who are paying me,” she said. “But I am definitely concerned. I don’t want to be thirsty and pull down my mask to drink water and kill everybody in the shop.”

By Emily Davies
May 27, 2020 at 2:06 PM EDT

Montgomery County will not lift restrictions on Friday, has yet to set date for reopening

As Washington and Northern Virginia prepare for a gradual reopening on Friday, residents in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction will continue to live under a stringent stay-at-home order.

Montgomery County will not lift any restrictions this Friday, said County Executive Marc Elrich (D). Officials may move toward reopening next week, but Elrich declined to pinpoint a specific date, continuing a policy that has set him apart from officials in nearly every other major jurisdiction in the region.

“Dates change. D.C.’s date was originally further out but changed,” he said at a news conference Wednesday. “This is not a promise-type thing.”

Elrich added that the county is waiting until after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s news conference at 5 p.m. to decide what to do and pointed out that neighboring Prince George’s County also said it does not plan to lift restrictions on Friday.

More than 10,000 Montgomery residents have contracted covid-19, and 572 have died — more than any other county in Maryland.

The county published a data dashboard on reopening metrics last week, in part to explain to residents why it needed to stay under lockdown even as parts of the state marched toward reopening. As of Wednesday, only two of the nine metrics had registered 14 days of consecutive declines, a key goal. But county health officer Travis Gayles said other metrics are trending in the right direction. The rate of patients testing positive for the coronavirus has decreased from a high of more than 30 percent in early May to below 15 percent, he said. New infections and hospitalizations also have been declining.

Another important metric — the rate at which acute-care beds are being used — has declined only one day out of the last 14, but Gayles said the county is working to add more hospital beds.

In recent weeks, Elrich has emphasized the importance of coordinating reopening with the rest of the region. But he said Wednesday that there was “never a lockstep” that bound the county to the District or Northern Virginia.

“We’re focusing on doing what’s right,” Elrich said. “Be calm, it’ll all work out in the end.”

By Rebecca Tan
May 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM EDT

Amtrak to cut up to 20 percent of workforce as coronavirus takes toll

Amtrak is reducing up to 20 percent of its staff, the company said Tuesday, as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on the passenger railroad service and substantially cuts into its revenue.

The reductions will amount to 3,700 jobs. In an email to the company’s 18,500 workers, chief executive William J. Flynn announced the “essential adjustments” will be completed by October, saying the company will offer “incentives for separations and retirements before we resort to involuntary separations.”

“During the past few months, we have witnessed almost unimaginable change to our world — and also to our business,” Flynn said. “This reduction is necessary to ensure we have a sustainable Amtrak that can continue to make critical investments in our core and long-term growth strategies, while also keeping safety as our top priority.”

On Monday, Amtrak requested nearly $1.5 billion in supplemental funding from the federal government to maintain “minimum service levels,” anticipating ridership will not recover to pre-pandemic levels in fiscal 2021.

By Luz Lazo
May 27, 2020 at 1:18 PM EDT

Maryland opens two new coronavirus testing sites in Prince George’s, including Six Flags America

Maryland is opening two new coronavirus testing sites in Prince George’s County, the jurisdiction with the largest number of cases in the state, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Wednesday.

Maryland residents who suspect they have been exposed to covid-19 can receive a test at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro at no charge and without a doctor’s order or an appointment. On Thursday, Maryland plans to open an 11th state-operated drive-through testing site at the vehicle emissions inspection station in Clinton.

Hogan has been criticized in recent weeks by local leaders, who say the state hasn’t provided adequate help with testing. Many counties have opted to buy tests on their own.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Maryland’s testing capacity lags far behind most of the country. The state also has a high positivity rate because it has been “only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and is not casting a wide enough net to know how much of the virus is spreading within its communities.”

The state recently began testing asymptomatic residents, as well.

By Ovetta Wiggins
May 27, 2020 at 11:28 AM EDT

D.C. will begin to lift restrictions Friday after 14-day decline in community spread of the coronavirus

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Wednesday the capital can begin to reopen Friday, citing hospital preparedness and declines in the spread of the virus.

Phase One reopening will allow restaurants and taverns to resume outdoor dining, barber shops and salons can open by appointment with no waiting allowed and nonessential retailers can offer curbside sales. Parks, tennis courts, dog parks and fields may reopen, but public pools, recreational centers and playgrounds cannot, and contact sports remain banned.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Bowser is lifting the stay-at-home order, but residents must still maintain six feet of distance from others and wear face coverings while in businesses. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. The city will not grant special event permit requests until at least July 24.

“In my mind, I call it stay-at-home light,” Bowser said. “It means the stay-at-home order has been lifted and some activities have been added back to what we can do, but they are minimal.”

Gyms, saunas, clothing stores, hookah bars and florists are among the businesses that still cannot allow customers on-site.

“The bottom line and what we want to emphasize is this virus is still in our city and in our region and in our country,” Bowser said. “We still need to be very focused on who has covid-19, who has been exposed to covid-19 and making sure those people isolate so that we can stop the spread of the virus in our city.”

By Fenit Nirappil
May 27, 2020 at 10:50 AM EDT

D.C. police arrest man who they say punched officer after refusing to disperse

A man, who D.C. police said declined to leave a basketball court to adhere to social distancing requirements, punched an officer and was arrested over the weekend.

The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when police tried to break up a crowd of about 50 people on the basketball courts at Randle Highlands Elementary School in Southeast Washington.

A security guard called police after the people refused to leave, an arrest affidavit says.

Police “asked individuals to leave the property several times due to covid-19. One man reportedly refused to leave and told officers, ‘We are not going anywhere,’ ” the affidavit says.

A video posted on social media shows the officers clashing with the man, who they said clenched his fists and assumed a fighting stance. The video shows an officer being thrown to the ground. Police said the officer was bleeding from his lip and cheek.

Other officers chased the man into the street, where they tackled and arrested him. He was charged with assault on a police officer.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, who watched the video, called it an “unfortunate incident.” He added: “I don’t know what his motive was for punching a police officer. Our officers have been asked to intervene in inappropriate gatherings that go against the mayor’s order, and we will continue to do that.”

Newsham said that most people comply with the orders and that officers have given out a handful of citations to individuals for violating the stay-at-home orders.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said the video “made me very angry.”

“For a police officer who was just doing his job, to be hit, to be assaulted, for what I saw was a very respectful encounter. Anyone who is willing to assault one of our officers is going to have to be dealt with,” Bowser added. “ … It’s not worth it. Here you are playing a game, and you’re going to wake up in jail.”

By Peter Hermann
May 27, 2020 at 10:27 AM EDT

Coronavirus cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia pass 97,000

The District, Maryland and Virginia reported 1,715 new coronavirus cases and 109 deaths on Wednesday.

This brings the total tally in the three jurisdictions to 97,078 cases and 4,118 deaths.

The District added 72 cases and five covid-19 related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 8,406, while the death toll is 445.

Virginia reported 907 new cases and 45 new deaths, bringing its totals to 40,249 and 1,281.

Maryland reported 736 new known cases and 59 new deaths. The state has reported 48,423 total cases and 2,392 deaths.

By Rachel Chason
May 27, 2020 at 8:03 AM EDT

For paramedics, a constant question: Put on more protective N95 masks or conserve them?

One view reflects nationwide reality: With limited supplies of virus-blocking N95 face masks, paramedics responding to 911 calls should limit their use to the most contagious of settings.

The other view, from paramedics told to use a less-effective mask in the tight confines of an ambulance next to a coughing patient, is just as compelling.

And where these views collide — as seen in the operations of one large Maryland fire department — remains a daily source of tension for first responders battling the pandemic.

“We’re all kind of on the edge with this thing,” said TJ Brennan, a Montgomery County paramedic, firefighter and vice president of the firefighters union. “There is always a lot of risk associated with our jobs, like a building fire. But this is different. A building fire can’t come home with us and hurt our families.”

Mask choice led to a shouting match recently inside a Rockville fire station, according to Brennan, another union official and a paramedic involved in the exchange. The paramedic disobeyed orders from a direct supervisor telling him to avoid wearing an N95 mask unless he was performing what the county designated “high-risk” respiratory procedures, the three said. The April 19 dust-up was resolved after another commander arrived at the station and heard the paramedic out, according to the three.

By Dan Morse
May 27, 2020 at 8:02 AM EDT

With most campuses closed, Forest School enjoys its moment in the woods

HUDDLESTON, Va. — It was time for school, but Malachi Reilly hesitated at the edge of a steep, tree-clotted hill.

In the forest below, his nine classmates were getting ready for morning yoga. Malachi clung to his mom, who brushed her hair behind her ears and bent to make one last plea.

“Go ahead,” she whispered. “You’re going to have a wonderful day.”

“Malachi, I grabbed your swim shoes,” teacher Catherine Eubank called from halfway down the hill, “so when we get to the creek, you can play.”

With that, the 6-year-old slipped his thumb from his mouth and tumbled down a dirt path for his first week at the Organic Nature Experience (ONE) Forest School, a year-round, outdoor preschool and before-and-after-school program in rural Huddleston. Founded in the tradition of forest schools that dates to 1950s-era Scandinavia, the school teaches things such as the six ways to get a fire started, the difference between frogs and toads, and how to weigh the risks involved in swinging on a vine.

By Hannah Natanson
May 27, 2020 at 6:03 AM EDT

D.C. will likely reopen Friday after city changes key thresholds for reopening

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) is expected Wednesday to announce the gradual reopening of the capital, saying the city has been meeting key thresholds to contain new coronavirus infections.

Hospitals have been running below their maximum capacity, testing is on the rise and the city is in the process of hiring enough contact tracers to identify and quarantine residents exposed to the virus.

But the city has been moving the goal posts for measuring the trajectory of the virus.

District officials have changed their approach to calculating the spread of the virus — no longer mentioning other reopening metrics they laid out last month, including a declining rate in people testing positive and a decrease in flu-like illnesses among residents who might not have been tested.

At a Tuesday news conference, the mayor said she understood the challenges in interpreting data relied on by epidemiologists and understanding why each jurisdiction seems to be using drastically different measurement tools to determine when to reopen businesses and resume public gatherings. She urged the public to have confidence in the city’s data.

By Fenit Nirappil and Julie Zauzmer
May 27, 2020 at 6:01 AM EDT

Maryland’s Democrats give high marks to Hogan’s pandemic response

Democratic voters increasingly give Maryland’s Republican governor high marks for the job he’s been doing during the coronavirus pandemic, and an overwhelming majority of Maryland voters agree with the restrictions he put in place to control the virus’s spread, according to a poll released Tuesday.

But Gov. Larry Hogan has taken a hit within his own party over his handling of the novel coronavirus.

Gonzales Research & Media Services found that Hogan’s job approval rating among Democratic voters has increased since the outbreak, jumping from 66 percent in February to 82 percent now.

Meanwhile, his rating among fellow Republicans, according to the poll, has suffered slightly, dropping from 79 percent three months ago to 71 percent now — making Hogan, who has long been a favorite among Democrats in a largely blue state, more popular with Democrats than within his own party, according to the poll.

By Ovetta Wiggins