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We’re covering COVID-19 and its impact on our community, and it’s affecting us too. Most of the revenue for our paper comes from advertising, and as events get canceled, those ads dry up. We need your help to make up the difference. If you can, please support your community paper with a contribution today.

THE NEWS:

As of 10 p.m. on Monday night, the District’s bars and restaurants are closed to residents looking to dine out. The policy now is grab and go so residents can practice social distancing, a public health recommendation to stay home and limit public interactions.

A lot is temporarily shutting down, from schools to gyms to theaters. City Paper has been keeping track of what’s canceled since Thursday. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayor Muriel Bowser has banned gatherings of 50 or more people. Gatherings of 10 people who are 60 years and older, along with those who have serious medical conditions, are also prohibited. 

It feels strange when a city as bustling as D.C. slows down. But the thing is not everything is closing, and that includes grocery stores. Bowser said Monday afternoon that the city’s grocery stores will NOT close during this public health emergency. This is important to know because the spread of the novel coronavirus is resulting in panic shopping.   

“It’s important to know what you are seeing in stores isn’t actually a lack of supply; it’s the increased demand as a result of hoarding and panic buying,” said the director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Christopher Rodrigez, during Monday’s mayoral press conference. “And our message to residents is simply this: Do your part and resist the temptation to buy more than what you need.”

Residents should buy what they need so suppliers are in a better position to restock shelves. Also, here is a handy list of what government agencies—therefore, public services—are still operating. And public transit is still pushing through but under reduced hours—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • As of March 16, 126 D.C. residents have been tested for the illness COVID-19 in public and private labs and 22 of those individuals have tested positive. [EOM

    • Two individuals that tested positive for COVID-19 are doctors at Children’s National and United Medical Center, hospitals confirm. [Twitter, Post

    • United Medical Center is limiting visiting hours and guests. Its 120-bed nursing facility is closed to visitors. [Twitter]

  • D.C. Superior Court gives police and prosecutors discretion to issue citations for minor crimes instead of arresting and detaining people until their first court appearance. [WAMU]

  • There are just three grocery stores east of the Anacostia River, so Ward 7 and 8 residents are pooling resources to get through the pandemic. [DCist]

  • Misinformation about the novel coronavirus spreads in a D.C. co-op building. [UrbanTurf

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

  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson would rather you didn’t come to the Wilson Building to watch the legislative meeting today. [Twitter]

  • The Council will vote on an emergency bill to address the immediate impacts of the coronavirus. The rest of their votes for the foreseeable future will likely be remote. [DC Council]

  • Mendelson posted the emergency legislation and a summary to his website (click the attachments). [Mendo]

  • At-Large Councilmember David Grossosays he was sexually abused by a priest as a teenager. The former priest was indicted last week. [WCP]

  • Ed Lazere is the latest entry into a crowded field looking to fill Grosso’s soon vacant seat. [DCist, Post

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

  • D.C. shuts down bars and restaurants to on-premise consumption. Take-out and delivery are still permitted. [WCP]

  • What will the city’s full-time food critics do if restaurants are closed? [WCP]

  • Despite being shut down or squeezed, restaurants across the country are feeding people in need. [Post]

  • When your restaurant shuts down, you drink the wine. [Slate]

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

  • Mo Willems, children’s book author and education artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center, is livestreaming doodles every day. [Washingtonian

  • Solas Nua makes its annual Irish Book Day digital in the wake of coronavirus, presenting Cyber Craic: A Digital Irish Arts Festival. [DC Theatre Scene]

  • Well, the cherry blossoms are still a thing. [Post]

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

  • D.C. is planning to launch its sport betting app by the end of this month. One problem: There likely won’t be any sports to be on. [WCP]

  • MLB has pushed the start of its season back by at least eight weeks. [NBC Sports]

  • In NFL free agency, the Washington NFL team welcomed back cornerback Kendall Fuller on a four-year deal and also signed guard Wes Schweitzer for three years, $13.5 million to help replace Ereck Flowers, who signed with the Miami Dolphins. [ESPN, Hogs Haven]

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