D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Monday that she has issued a stay-at-home order for residents of the District of Columbia in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases.
People are required to stay in their residences except for performing essential activities such as purchasing food or necessary household items, receiving medical care that cannot be provided via telehealth and traveling for essential work.
The order will go into effect on Wednesday, April 1 at 12:01 a.m.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus in the District had reached nine and there were a total of 401 confirmed cases at the time of our reporting.
“Our message remains the same: stay home. Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community from COVID-19. Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how – by staying home,” Bowser wrote in a tweet.
1/ Today, due to an increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in DC and across the region and the nation, I've issued a stay-at-home order for the District of Columbia. This order reinforces my direction to residents to stay at home except to perform essential activities.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MayorBowser) March 30, 2020
Those who intentionally disobey the order could be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for up to 90 days, or both on charges of a misdemeanor.
The D.C. mayor’s move followed those of the governors of Maryland and Virginia. The coronavirus cases in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia combined rose to 2,800 Monday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted the District a major disaster declaration in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.