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Coronavirus cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia double to 20,000 in one week

The number of coronavirus cases in Washington, D.C, Maryland and Virginia has doubled to 20,000 cases in a week, according to information reported by their health departments Thursday evening.  

The death toll in the two states and D.C. has reached 750 and has continued to increase each day.

And the crisis is also hitting the local economies.

An additional 177,450 people filed for unemployment benefits in the three jurisdictions last week, pushing the total jobless claims to more than 390,000 people in the four weeks since social distancing measures shut down most businesses, according to The Washington Post.

The one-week spike comes as governors across the country come under pressure to reopen their economies. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who chairs the National Governors Association, said Thursday this week “would be the worst possible time” to lift coronavirus restrictions. 

“Here in the Washington-Baltimore corridor we’re still heading up that curve … it would really be the worst possible time to put our people out there and endanger them,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Today.” 

Dozens protested in Richmond on Thursday, pressuring Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to publicly release plans to reopen the economy. The chair of Virginia’s Republican Party attacked Northam’s decision to extend business closures until May 8 in a Thursday news release and demanded the governor “begin the process of reopening Virginia now.”

Though D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has not received the same pressure, she’s taken a more cautious approach to reopening. Her city also won less federal help than Virginia and Maryland from the recent coronavirus relief package.

Bowser said this week she expects the apex in cases to come at some point in May after originally projecting it would come in June. The city’s stay-at-home order is in place until May 15.

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