DC Public Health emergency order extended until December 31


The previous emergency order was set to expire Oct. 9, but was extended as the District remains in Phase 2.

WASHINGTON — Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday that the District’s Public Health Emergency order has been extended until Dec. 31, 2020. The previous emergency order was set to expire Oct. 9 but was extended as the District remains in Phase 2 of reopening.

The emergency order should not be confused with a stay-at-home order.

Currently, in Phase 2, telework is still encouraged within the District, and mass gatherings are permitted up to 50 people. Certain activities, like churches, are allowed to increase that number if requested and approved from a waiver. 

A number of restrictions still remain in place in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Read the full public health emergency order below:


Here’s what’s Phase 2 looks like in the District:

  • Restaurants, non-essential retail and beverage establishments can open indoors at 50% capacity. Indoor dining must have tables six feet apart, with no more than 6 people to a table.
  • Gyms, yoga studios and dance classes can reopen with restrictions like having only 5 people allowed per 1,000 sq. feet and an emphasis on smaller group classes.
  • Movie theaters, entertainment venues are to remain closed.  Certain programs and events could reopen if the venue applies and is approved for a waiver. 
  • Houses of worship, churches can resume at a maximum 50% capacity, with choirs discouraged. 
  • Libraries can reopen at 50% capacity.
  • Pools: D.C. public pools will reopen for structured activities like lessons, lap swimming.
  • Parks and fields may reopen for activities, including playgrounds. 
  • Nail salons, tanning and waxing: Open by appointment only with stations at least six feet apart
  • Colleges and universities in D.C. can begin reopening, as long as they have submitted their reopening plan to D.C. Council.
  • Camps can reopen as long as there are no more than 10 people to a cohort.

Businesses shall have employees and contractors telework to the extent that is consistent with their current operations. But they should be actively developing plans to safely return employees and contractors who are telecommuting to their offices, following guidance from the Department of Health.

D.C health officials reported 45 cases of coronavirus Wednesday, closer to the District’s average number, following Tuesday’s report of more than 100 cases. D.C. is now averaging 53 cases of the virus per day, up from 43 cases two weeks ago.


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