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As White House touts 'Opening Up America' plan, DMV shows signs of improvement

Across the DMV, cases of coronavirus are doubling at the slowest rate since the pandemic began.

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, President Donald Trump unveiled his “Opening Up America Again” plan, saying in a press conference that the nation was beginning to show signs of flattening the epidemic curve for the coronavirus.

The White House’s plan is a three-phase process, beginning with restrictions similar to those now in place and eventually transitioning into  a return to normalcy.

Trump promised such a return would happen “relatively quickly.” Meanwhile governors across the nation have signaled a more cautious approach.

In the DMV, an analysis of coronavirus cases by WUSA9 shows social distancing and other restrictions have drastically increased the doubling time – or the number of days it takes for the total number of cases to double – over the past month.

On March 22, when Maryland reported its 200th case, cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia were doubling faster than every three days. On March 30, when the DMV implemented mandatory stay-at-home orders, cases were doubling every three-to-four days.

As of Thursday, a WUSA9 analysis found that cases in Maryland were doubling every 10 days, every 11 days in Virginia, and every 12.5 days in D.C. It was D.C.’s fourth day in a row with a double-digit doubling rate.

While the doubling rate slowing is good news, cases continue to grow at a steady 6-7% every day. On Thursday, Maryland reported its 10,000th case. And in Maryland and Virginia, outbreaks are taking a devastating toll on nursing homes.

State and local officials have been quick with reminders that the DMV isn't out of the woods yet. On Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pointed out that the Commonwealth doesn't even qualify for Phase I of reopening yet – which requires 14 straight days of downward decline in coronavirus cases.

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