WASHINGTON (WJZ) — While a number of events that were part of Washington, D.C.’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival have been canceled due to the coronavirus, the blossoms are nearing peak bloom and people are being discouraged from going to see them to promote social distancing.
The National Park Service reports the blossoms reached their puffy white stage, the final stage before bloom, on Monday. They estimate the blossoms will reach peak bloom between Saturday and Tuesday.
Last year, peak bloom was around April 1.
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While the National Cherry Blossom Festival set to begin Friday was canceled along with the parade. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival and Anacostia River Festival have been postponed.
Officials are urging people to avoid public transportation in the district except for essential trips.
URGENT: METRO SERVICE FURTHER REDUCED TO SUPPORT *ESSENTIAL TRIPS ONLY* — EFFECTIVE TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY) | INFO: https://t.co/xIzpCBOjBn #WMATA #dc #md #va #coronavirus #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/kFCZXDyt3y
— Metro (@wmata) March 17, 2020
WMATA is shutting down two Metro stops- Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery- to discourage people from taking the Metro to go see the blossoms.
Those who attend are being asked to practice social distancing.
With peak bloom a few days away, we encourage those who still plan to visit the Tidal Basin (esp. the elderly and those with underlying conditions) to make smart decisions and follow CDC guidance to help reduce the spread of infectious diseases. pic.twitter.com/SjGuxDoqIH
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) March 17, 2020
The National Park Service also tweeted it and the Trust for the National Mall are working on a way to offer a live view of the blooms.
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