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THE NEWS:

“We are asking everyone to be a good neighbor and stay at home,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser during her 11 a.m. press conference on Monday. “Just stay at home.” (This presser is why your newsletter is late today.)

She stopped short of issuing a shelter-in-place order, as other states like California and New York have to place limits on where residents can go outside their homes to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. When asked why, Bowser said her emergency response team has “basically” closed down all the gathering places where residents can go.

“People can still congregate with a shelter in place,” said Bowser. “What a shelter in place says is you can never leave the house. What we are telling people is to stay at home and only make essential trips.” 

Bowser also did not order non-essential businesses to close like Maryland Governor Larry Hogan did during his morning presser. She says her team is still examining which businesses cannot adhere to social distancing and other existing requirements, but additional guidance is expected. 

Over the weekend, the Executive Office of the Mayor announced a second death related to COVID-19. The patient was a 65-year-old female with underlying health conditions. Despite the severity of the pandemic, not everyone was heeding the public health recommendation to stay indoors over the weekend. While not as many people seemed to be outside this weekend as there were last weekend when groups of people lined up to get into bars, there were still enough out for Bowser to add road closures around the Tidal Basin and National Mall for Monday. Bowser said at her press conference that police and the National Guard will help move crowds along if they see them not practicing social distancing. 

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From the perspective of small businesses on the National Mall, the weekend was deserted. On Saturday, I spoke with one ice cream worker that parks his truck on Constitution Avenue NW near the Washington Monument, and he said he only made $20 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Typically, on a spring day in the middle of cherry blossom season, he’d earn upward of $600. He’s happy that increasingly more people are staying home to slow the spread of the virus. But he can’t help but be concerned about what that means for his own financial future. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • Testing has more than doubled in four days as commercial labs ramp up. As of March 22, 1,229 residents have been tested for the coronavirus disease. Of those, 116 tested positive. New cases were noticeably younger, with 12 of the 18 cases announced on Sunday night ages 37 and younger. Three were minors. [EOM]  

  • John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond, 59, is D.C.’s first known death from COVID-19. He battled leukemia for years. As a member of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, Laird-Hammond helped people find housing and delivered food to struggling families on Christmas. [Post]

  • Looking for toilet paper or diapers? There’s (almost) an app for that. [WCP]

  • Between March 13 and 22, 17,281 residents filed for unemployment benefits, a weekly $444 check. Already, the unemployment programs are feeling strained. [EOM, WAMU]

  • Cab drivers take a hit under the new normal. [WTOP]

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

  • AG Karl Racine called for a shelter in place order last night. [Twitter]

  • What would a shelter in place order do? [WAMU]

  • Rear door boarding and free bus rides starting Tuesday. [Post]

  • Grading the DMV’s leaders’ responses to the coronavirus. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is last. [Post]

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

  • Some commercial landlords are cutting their hospitality industry tenants a break on rent. Others, like Douglas Development, reportedly expect their checks on time. [WCP]

  • Are delivery and carry-out orders making a difference for restaurants’ bottom lines? [WCP]

  • Bartenders are hosting virtual cocktail classes for would-be patrons. [Washingtonian]

  • Restaurants across the country are learning that insurance won’t help them recover. [Eater]

  • Virtual dinner parties are trending. [Post]

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

  • Capitol Hill Books is fulfilling orders for mystery bags of books at different price points. [WAMU]

  • An impromptu online quarantine-themed version of Netflix’s Love Is Blind comes to D.C. [Washingtonian]

  • Have you ever seen stikman around D.C.? [Post]

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

  • The momentum to postpone the Olympics is growing. Multiple organizations, including World Athletics, USA Swimming, and USA Track & Field, have called for the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Games. On Sunday, hours after the IOC said it would consider a postponement, Team Canada announced it would not be sending any athletes to the Olympics due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. [USA Today]

  • Forward Jalen Smith was named to the Associated Press All-American Third Team, becoming the first Maryland men’s basketball player to be named to an AP All-American team since 2010. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network will be airing the remainder of this season’s Wizards and Caps games—video game simulations that is. On Saturday night, the Wizards fell to the Bucks in an NBA 2K simulation. [Awful Announcing, NBC Sports Washington]

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.

  • Don’t fret about sleeping alone in quarantine—watch Tsai Ming-liang’s masterful I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone instead.

  • Travel back to the heyday of the Washington power lunch via a scene set at Sans Souci in an otherwise unremarkable film. 

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