D.C. adds tougher coronavirus limitations as infection rates continue to increase – The Washington Post

23November 2020

By Julie Zauzmer and Erin Cox,

D.C. tightened limitations Monday to face rising coronavirus cases, a relocation that follows similar actions in surrounding jurisdictions and puts the whole Washington region under more stringent pandemic procedures.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced a ban on indoor events of more than 10 people– consisting of Thanksgiving suppers, because the order takes effect Wednesday– and outside groups of more than 25 individuals. The restrictions come as caseloads have actually spiked throughout the higher Washington region, where the seven-day average variety of cases Monday hit a record for the 20th consecutive day.

Bowser's order will ban live entertainment and indoor workout classes, although fitness centers can stay open. John Falcicchio, chief of personnel for the mayor, said home entertainment venues that already have actually reserved efficiencies can arrange with the mayor's workplace on a case-by-case basis for the program to go on.

Houses of worship can have up to 50 individuals, down from 100, although sanctuaries can't be at more than 50 percent capacity.

[_http” href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/11/20/dc-coronavirus-cases-faq/”>D.C.'s coronavirus numbers are increasing. Here's what you need to know.]

The mayor's order requires restaurants to close at midnight and to stop serving alcohol after 10 p.m. Bowser stated inspectors have found that compliance with coronavirus guidelines tends to decline into the night.

Capability for indoor dining will drop from 50 percent to 25 percent start Dec. 14. Bowser said the three-week delay will offer services time to prepare, while Falcicchio stated it would likewise provide the mayor's office time to discuss the guidelines to businesses, consisting of that an outdoor camping tent with a roofing and walls still counts as “indoor dining.”

“We want to assist and guide Washingtonians to limit our exposure. up until we get to the other side where the vaccine will be extensively offered,” Bowser said.

D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt stated her department has actually conducted polls to much better understand some locals' hesitation to use a vaccine. She stated the city plans to deal with community groups such as churches to inform the public about the benefits of vaccines.

Nesbitt likewise said the District's contact-tracing app offered to iPhone and Android users is working. Last week, more than 200 individuals who evaluated favorable for the infection had the app switched on, and the Health Department offered each a code, letting them anonymously inform people who might have been exposed.

Regardless of the city's brand-new limitations, homeowners are not likely to face effects if they break guidelines to host a big Thanksgiving dinner. Falcicchio said Monday that throughout the pandemic, the city has mentioned just services, not people.

The brand-new D.C. constraints followed Virginia and Maryland— in addition to several of Maryland's most populous jurisdictions– reimposed limitations this month as caseloads have increased.

On Friday, an order from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) began to need bars and dining establishments to close at 10 p.m. for indoor service and reduced the capability allowed in stores, spiritual facilities, gym, individual service facilities and bowling alleys to 50 percent. On the exact same day, Prince George's County enforced a weekend curfew at National Harbor for unaccompanied minors.

[_http” href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/with-cases-up-washington-region-steps-up-coronavirus-restrictions-and-enforcement/2020/11/15/e664fb84-2761-11eb-9b14-ad872157ebc9_story.html”>With cases up, Washington region steps up coronavirus constraints and enforcement]

Hogan on Monday revealed targeted enforcement of coronavirus restrictions in bars and dining establishments this week, part of an effort to curb the pandemic's spread by cracking down on places he states are flouting the rules.

“The more seriously we take it, the quicker we're going to get it under control,” he stated at an Annapolis news conference.

The guv stated extra state cannon fodders will be assigned to every county in an “all-hands-on-deck” operation designed to avoid what he called superspreader occasions and to educate the public about existing constraints.

The operation increases to standard drunken-driving patrols conducted the night before Thanksgiving, when younger residents returning home from college typically flock to bars and dining establishments. “High exposure compliance units” will be published in downtown locations often crowded on Thanksgiving eve, consisting of in Silver Spring in Montgomery County and Fells Point in Baltimore.

“We can't let a couple of bad actors ruin it for all the others who have been doing such a great job,” Hogan stated.

Emergency situation informs will be sent to every cellular phone in the state at 5 p.m. Wednesday, reminding residents of the limitations and to abide by them. The only time the Hogan administration utilized the statewide alert system remained in March, when residents were instructed to stay home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Increased state enforcement will also target banquet halls, clubs and other venues that host gatherings.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. (D) joined Hogan on Monday and pleaded that individuals take the limitations seriously.

“These guidelines are in place to conserve lives. If you are discovered breaching them, you will be held responsible,” he stated. “Please, for the love God, please, use your mask. Completion of this pandemic is coming, and that must encourage all of us to save lives along the way.”

The week began in Maryland with another populated suburban county reimposing limitations on celebrations Monday, when Howard County announced groups will be topped at 10 individuals inside and 25 outdoors, including wedding events and sporting occasions.

Religious organizations, retail shops, indoor theaters and outside home entertainment locations are exempt to the cap, which is stricter than statewide guidelines.

“At this point there is extensive community transmission of covid-19, and every individual action we take is vital to managing and limiting the further spread of this infection,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) stated in a declaration. “The alarms are sounding, and if you have not currently, reassess any strategies to host or go to a large gathering with family and friends.”

D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Monday reported 5,039 new cases. That raised the rolling seven-day average of infections in the area to 4,824– the 20th successive daily record.

[_http” href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/dc-maryland-virginia-coronavirus-cases/”>Coronavirus cases and metrics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia]

Virginia reported a record number of coronavirus infections Monday, with 3,242 brand-new cases raising the state's seven-day average to a high of 2,343. Virginia likewise reported four deaths.

The state's dive in numbers was, in part, due to the fact that of hold-ups in reporting as the Virginia Health Department's computer system was closed down for upgrades.

Maryland reported 1,658 new infections and 14 deaths, while D.C. reported 139 new cases and 2 deaths. Throughout Maryland, Virginia and D.C., the seven-day average variety of people hospitalized with coronavirus-related illnesses stood Monday at 2,805– up from 1,655 at the start of November.

In Arlington County, practically half of people infected with the infection early this month stated they may have been exposed at work, the county Health Department reported Monday.

About one-third of the 539 individuals detected with covid-19 stated they entered contact with someone who already had the illness, mainly in the house, contact tracers discovered. But 48 percent of those detected between Nov. 3 and 16 said they had gone to work, 38 percent said they had gone to dining establishments, 17 percent had taken a trip outside the area, and 12 percent had participated in a large gathering such as a wedding, funeral service or party.

The Health Department stated it is unclear whether those sites were definitive sources of infection.

Patricia Sullivan and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.

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Source: washingtonpost.com

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