Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order this week expanding the District’s mask mandate to require residents to wear face coverings while outside, amid a surge in positive coronavirus cases.
Bowser, in April, initially issued an order to require masks be worn by workers and customers of hotels, public transit and food sellers, and in areas where social distancing was not possible. The new order, however, requires D.C. residents to wear masks any time they are outside their home, and threatens a fine of up to $1,000 for violations.
“It’s simple: When you leave home, you must wear a mask.” a graphic Bowser’s office released read. “Wear a mask. Save lives. Stop the spread.”
The mayor’s office laid out several “common allowable exceptions,” including if an individual is “under the age of 3,” if you are “actively eating or drinking,” exercising outdoors and not close to others, and if an individual is in an “enclosed office and alone.”
“Basically what it says is, if you leave home, you should wear a mask.” Bowser said during a press conference this week. “This means, if you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask. If you’re ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.”
Bowser this week also announced that she would extend the District’s state of emergency as the nation’s capital sees a spike in positive cases of COIVD-19 and as Maryland and Virginia reported some of their highest positive COVID-19 case counts since early June.
Maryland, on Wednesday, reported more than 620 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the state’s total confirmed cases to 80,738. Virginia, on Wednesday, reported more than 950 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 80,393.
Washington, D.C., reported 102 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total to more than 11,500.