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All across the country, governors, mayors, and other government officials are asking residents to wear masks when outside to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But does that include people exercising outside? 

It’s a debate that is unlikely to end anytime soon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” In D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser requires the following to wear a mask or face covering: employees, customers, and visitors of hotels, retail food sellers, taxis, ride-sharing companies, or other private transportation providers. The mayor’s order lasts until May 15. 

These guidelines don’t specify runners, bikers, or anyone exercising outside, leading to some confusion among local residents. The topic of whether or not runners should be wearing masks has been a contentious issue on neighborhood forums and on social media, and runners have been a common target for vitriol. PoPville recently dedicated an entire article to the “sidewalk etiquette with runners without masks.” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made headlines when he urged runners and bikers in Boston last week to start wearing masks. 

Late last month, City Paper spoke to Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Glenn Wortmann, the chief of infectious diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, to get their thoughts.

While neither believe that runners should be required to wear masks, they emphasized that physical distancing of at least six feet must be maintained. If people are exercising in a place where they may encounter a lot of people, a mask should be worn, Schaffner said.

“Runners should neither be villainized nor should they try to take advantage,” Schaffner added. —Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Will Warren:

  • D.C. reported 154 new positive COVID-19 cases and seven additional COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday. The city now has 5,170 positive cases overall and 258 residents have died from COVID-19. [Twitter]

  • At Monday’s presser, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson joined Bowser and provided updates about another coronavirus omnibus bill the Council will be considering tomorrow. Additionally, the mayor will submit the FY 2021 budget next week, and a re-imagined virtual and remote hearing process will follow. [Twitter]

  • The mayor’s team also noted and called attention to increased rates of infection in both 16th Street Heights and Columbia Heights. [Twitter]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Participate in our voters’ guide by telling us what you want us to ask local politicians. [WCP]

  • As Ward 8 is hit harder than any other ward in D.C., Councilmember Trayon White delivers food and supplies to his constituents. [Post]

  • Some state lawmakers joined in a lawsuit against Maryland, seeking to overturn Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order. [WBAL, lawsuit]

  • Chairman Phil Mendelson endorses Patrick Kennedy for the Ward 2 Council seat. [Twitter]

  • ICYMI: Ward 2 candidate Brooke Pinto jabs at Kennedy for pro-charter school PAC mailer. [WCP]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes(tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Michelin-starred Sushi Taro won’t reopen as a dine-in restaurant. [WCP]

  • The region’s international markets come through for customers during COVID-19. [WCP]

  • A local blog that helps home cooks decide what to do with funky looking produce has seen its traffic triple during COVID-19. [WCP]

  • Hanumanh named one of the best new restaurants in America. [GQ]

  • Great Wall Szechuan House has reopened for pick-up. [PoPville]

  • Limiting capacity could spell the end of restaurants. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • MuralsDC is suspended for 2020. [WCP]

  • Local opera and theater company IN Series is moving its entire new season online. [DCist]

  • How a Maryland man brightens up his neighborhood with “bad dad jokes.” [Post]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • ESPN’s Project 11 documentary gave viewers a graphic and moving behind the scenes of quarterback Alex Smith’s recovery from a broken leg and the subsequent surgeries and infections that nearly took his life. At one point, doctors told Smith’s mom that they were in “life saving mode, then leg saving mode,” in that order. [NBC Sports Washington, Post]

  • Gatorade launched a new version of its classic Michael Jordan “Be Like Mike” commercial, this time featuring Mystics star Elena Delle Donne and the NBA’s Zion Williamson and Jayson Tatum. [Forbes]

  • Four-star defensive tackleMarcus Bradley of Quince Orchard High School committed to continue his football career at Maryland on Friday, giving Michael Locksley and the Terps another highly ranked defensive player for the 2021 recruiting class. [Testudo Times]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

  • On Fridays, you can catch “Stay at Home in Style” jazz performances on Facebook Live.

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