DC Mayor to Lift City's Stay-at-Home Order on Friday

  • May 27th 2020

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this morning that DC's stay-at-home order will be lifted as of Friday.

Put in place at the end of March, the order closed all businesses except those deemed essential (eg. grocery stores) and encouraged people not to leave their home except for essential activities (eg. travel to and from work). Lifting of the order initiates a phased "reopening" of the city to permit some non-essential businesses to operate with restrictions.

Under Phase One:

  • Some non-essential businesses will be able to offer curbside pick-up of pre-ordered goods.
  • Restaurants and other businesses that serve food will be allowed to offer outdoor seating of parties no larger than six people, at tables six feet apart. Those establishments are encouraged to take reservations and to keep a list of customers for contact tracing purposes.
  • Barbershops and hair salons can take customers, by appointment, at stations six feet apart, and no customers can wait for service in the shop. Nail shops, estheticians, gyms, and other similar services are still off-limits.
  • People are still asked to stay at least six feet away from persons they do not live with, unless receiving a service from that person.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • Farmer's market restrictions are loosened to allow individual markets to submit plans for things like serving prepared foods and allowing customers to pick their own produce.
  • Theaters, bars, museums, indoor recreation, sports venues, and the like remain closed to the public. 
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation will reopen parks, tracks, tennis courts, and dog parks, while public pools, playgrounds, and rec centers remain closed.

The city's public health emergency is currently scheduled to lift on July 24th. Event organizers whose events are scheduled for after July 24th will be allowed to apply for special permit requests at their own risk during Phase One.

Some questions have been raised over the holiday weekend about the metrics the city used to approve a reopening, which include a required count of 14 consecutive days without "community spread". A single-day spike "reset" this 14 day count back to 11 days rather than to 0 days; Department of Health officials have explained that the reset calculation was done this way because of standard deviation.

Northern Virginia is also expected to begin a phased "reopening" on Friday and has enacted a process for restaurants to add temporary outdoor seating.

Thumbnail photo by Ted Eytan

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-mayor-is-lifting-citys-stay-at-home-order-on-friday/16888.

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