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.