As of just after midnight Wednesday, the District of Columbia officially will be under a stay-at-home order. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued the directive, instituted to try and halt the spread of coronavirus, on March 30. The order mandates that residents stay at home except to perform essential activities.
“Our message remains the same: stay home,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement on the official Washington, D.C., website. “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.”
The mayor’s order states that residents may only leave their homes to:
- engage in essential activities, including obtaining medical care that cannot be provided through telehealth and obtaining food and essential household goods;
- perform or access essential governmental functions;
- work at essential businesses;
- engage in essential travel; or
- engage in allowable recreational activities, as defined by the order.
The order is enforceable as law. A person who violates the lockdown may be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Anyone convicted faces a fine of up to $5,000, a maximum of 90 days behind bars, or both.