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DC’s reopening may not come for several months; new normal likely won’t come until vaccine is available

During a ReOpen DC Townhall, officials said it’s not going to be a light switch with businesses turning back on once the stay at home order is lifted.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — During Wednesday’s virtual town hall on reopening, District officials said it could take D.C. three months to reopen, but that would be a worst case scenario.

As a "less stringent" estimated time range to reopen, DC Health officials said the city could take a phased-in approach that would span over two-to-three months.

The District has launched its ReOpen DC Advisory Group to guide the city on reopening.  

According to information shown during the virtual town hall, phase one of reopening would include expanding the number of people allowed at mass gatherings to 50, and allowing schools, non-essential businesses and restaurants to reopen over time with strict social distancing procedures. Telework, bars and nightclubs would continue to be closed the longest.

RELATED: When will DC, Maryland & Virginia reopen? Their epidemic curves can tell us

District officials also announced the three phases of reopening: emergency response, stabilization, and long-term recovery.

Credit: WUSA
ReOpen DC held a virtual townahall where they talked about what reopening The District would look like.

Stabilization is listed as "what ReOpen DC will focus on, which involves releasing restrictions but closely monitoring and quickly responding to negative metrics."

Long-term recovery is said to be the new, more resilient normal. The long-term recovery, according to officials, will not start until a vaccine is widely available.

“Of the different phases of reopening, the Johns Hopkins University report calls this the stabilization phase, we call it reopening, but it really is about how do we begin to open up our, our businesses, our public facilities in a way that respects public health?” Andrew Trueblood, D.C.'s director of planning, said.

The city will not start its reopening phases until there has been a 14 day downward trend of coronavirus cases.

RELATED: When will DC, Maryland & Virginia reopen? Their epidemic curves can tell us

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city’s stay-at-home order, which is extended until May 15, could be extended once again.

“Specifically, one of the criteria to begin the process of reopening is to have 14 days of decreases in new cases,” Bowser said. “We are not there yet, and that is why we continue to call on Washingtonians to stay at home, except for when you are engaging in essential activities.”

You can find more information about each jurisdiction’s reopening plans, and the milestones they need to hit to begin them, below:

RELATED: If we keep it up, here's when we could start reopening things

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