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Beginning today, Monday, July 27, select individuals traveling from “high-risk” states have to quarantine for 14 days, even if they are not showing COVID-19 symptoms. The idea is for an individual to monitor themselves for symptoms during the incubation period, and if they do feel sick to get tested.

COVID-19 cases are creeping up in the District, after a promising period of decline. On July 22, daily cases surpassed 100. DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said in a past press conference that contact tracing shows that some cases can be linked to individuals who traveled from COVID-19 hot spots like Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas. 

DC Health determines whether a state is high risk if “the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons.” The health agency will update its list of high risk states every other Monday on coronavirus.dc.gov

Here is the inaugural list of states: Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

There are exceptions. Maryland and Virginia will never be among the listed states. 

The Bowser administration also makes exceptions for those engaging in “essential” travel. The obvious next question: What is essential? The order defines “essential” based on a past mayoral order, which includes travel related to operating a necessary business such as a health care facility or government function. The mayor’s spokesperson says the administration will be releasing new guidance on what qualifies as essential travel today to provide further clarity. The travel order says these individuals, however, should limit their activities for 14 days.

Thanks to a waiver, the Washington Nationals will be treated as “essential” under the order. And the Bowser administration confirmed that more than one baseball player has tested positive for COVID-19 already.    

Enforcement is fuzzy. The order reserves the right for businesses and institutions (like a university) to “affirm compliance” with the travel requirement. When asked about enforcement in a Friday press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser said “people should…monitor their activities and do what is right for their neighbors.”

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)      

  • As of July 27, D.C. reported one additional death related to COVID-19 and 78 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 582 and 11,858. Cases in the community are increasing, particularly in Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8. [EOM

  • A funeral procession honoring the life of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is today. There will be road closures in Northwest until 1 p.m. [WTOP

  • As public schools go all virtual this academic year, parents weigh sending their kids to private schools where campuses will remain open. [Post]

  • A police officer struck and killed a female pedestrian Friday night while responding to a call in Southeast. [DCist]

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

  • How a mother of two became the face of D.C.’s push to decriminalize magic mushrooms. [Washingtonian]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser is pushing legislation to open at least 80 polling places for the general election. [DCist]

  • Virginia needs answers to the sexaul assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. [Post]

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

  • The Office of Tax and Revenue will now waive the penalty fees and interest incurred by bars and restaurants who forgot to file their sales tax return reports. [WCP]

  • An analysis of the fines bars and restaurants received for violating Phase 2 regulations. [Barred in DC]

  • Mercy Me in West End is now serving brunch. [Eater DC]

  • Which restaurant workers are most at risk of contracting COVID-19? [Eater]

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

  • Gallaudet University students star in a coming-of-age documentary series on Netflix, set to be released in October. [DCist]

  • The National Zoo has officially reopened—with new safety protocols. [WAMU]

  • And here are more local museums and cultural institutions that have reopened with new rules in place. [Washingtonian]

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

  • Myisha Hines-Allen scored 27 points and led the Mystics to a 101-76 season-opening win over the Indiana Fever. The Mystics play again tomorrow night against the Connecticut Sun. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • The Nats lost two out of three games in their series against the Yankees. [Federal Baseball]

  • Washington Spirit rookie Ashley Sanchez won the Future Legend award for the NWSL Challenge Cup. [CBS Sports]

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

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