Over the past several days, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia have announced new restrictions in response to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in the Washington metropolitan area. Each jurisdiction has seen a growing number of positive cases that have resulted in increased hospitalizations. This recent increase is expected to worsen with the onset of colder weather, which will lead to more indoor gatherings, particularly during the upcoming holiday season.
The following summarizes the measures recently taken by the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia to slow the spread of COVID-19.
District of Columbia
On November 23, Mayor Bowser announced the following new restrictions:
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
- Indoor restaurant dining is reduced from 50% to 25% capacity.
- Live entertainment and indoor exercise classes are prohibited.
- Houses of worship are limited to 50 people or up to 50% capacity.
- Restaurants are required to close at midnight, and alcohol sales must stop at 10:00 pm.
Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced an enhanced enforcement effort to ensure that businesses are complying with restrictions that address hours of operation, the serving of alcohol, and operating capacity. Maryland State Police officers, along with county and municipal law enforcement, will be monitoring the activities of local businesses for compliance with these restrictions, imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Like the District of Columbia, several counties, including Montgomery, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel, reduced the size of activities and mass gatherings from 50 to 25 people, and indoor gatherings are reduced from 25 to 10 people. Pursuant to Governor Hogan's executive orders, each county and municipality has the authority to impose its own restrictions.
On November 13, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the following restrictions in response to the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in that state:
- Public and private indoor and outdoor gatherings are reduced to 25 people.
- The minimum age to wear a mask in public and private places is reduced from 10 to 5 years.
- Violations of statewide guidelines by essential retail businesses became a first-class misdemeanor, enforceable by the Virginia Department of Health.
- All bars, restaurants, wineries, and similar establishments must stop serving alcohol at 10:00 pm. Those same establishments must close by midnight.
The three jurisdictions in the Washington metropolitan area have taken these steps to mitigate the recent resurgence of COVID-19. Further restrictive measures can be expected if public health officials are correct in predicting that the spread of COVID-19 will only increase with the onset of cold weather and gatherings associated with the upcoming holiday season.
For questions or comments, contact: