US capital Washington DC will lift stay-at-home order on Friday and enter phase one of reopening, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday.
The city had met its metrics of a 14-day decline in community spread of the coronavirus as well as adequate testing and hospital capacity, the mayor said, Xinhua reported.
However, gatherings of more than 10 people are still banned, said Bowser, warning there are risks of an uptick in infections with reopening.
“I want to clarify this,” Bowser said. “COVID-19 is still in our community, in our region, in our nation, and the public health emergency will continue.”
“More people can get infected because now more people will be moving around in the community,” she added.
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx warned last week that the DC.metro area had the highest positivity rate of its tests of anywhere in the country, a warning sign about high levels of infection.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US capital was 8,406 as of Wednesday with a death toll of 445, according to a Washington Post tally.