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Do you have to wear a mask or face covering whenever you leave your house for “essential” reasons? You do if you can’t maintain social distancing or are entering a business. That’s according to Wednesday’s mayoral order that extended the stay-at-home requirement until June 8. 

In a press conference on Friday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said her recommendation to everyone is that if you can’t keep a six foot distance whenever you are in public, then you should wear a mask. But it is not a requirement that everyone wear a mask every time they are leaving their homes or are outdoors. 

“Wearing face coverings, we can blunt the spread of the virus,” said Bowser. 

People living and working in D.C. are required to wear a face covering if they are at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies, or non-essential businesses operating at a minimum, like restaurants doing pick-up. If you are traveling to these areas and cannot engage in social distancing, then you are also required to wear a mask (and you’d already have a mask on you to get inside said essential business, so why not wear it on the way?). But when doing approved recreational activities such as exercise—be it, walking or jogging—individuals do not have to wear a mask if they can social distance. 

There is an exception to the mask requirements for individuals who are younger than 9 years old, experiencing homelessness, or cannot for reasons related to medical condition or disability. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals wear a cloth mask in light of new data about how the coronavirus spreads. “A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others,” says the CDC. “This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms.” If worn correctly, masks can be a great form of “source control”—limiting transmission of the virus that’s primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Masks do not replace staying six feet apart or washing your hands. Here’s a great Vox explainer if you need more information. 

Need more convincing to wear a mask when you go out? A sustained decrease in community spread among individuals living in non-congregate settings is among the four metrics that the Bowser administration is considering when deciding whether to gradually reopen the economy. The other three metrics include the ability to test select priority groups, to conduct contact tracing for all infected patients and their close contacts, and to care for all patients without using hospital resources set up for surge like beds or ventilators. Bowser said she doesn’t expect these reopen metrics to change unless there is new evidence to suggest “progression of the virus” that requires re-evaluating them, then DC Health “would certainly consider it.” 

Looking for a mask? You can buy a mask at your local laundromat.—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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

  • D.C. reported 10 additional deaths related to COVID-19. So far, 368 residents have lost their lives to the disease. As of March 14, 6,871 of the 34,339 tested turned up positive results. The hospital system continues to be below capacity, with 76 percent of beds occupied and 57 percent of ventilators in use. [EOM

  • D.C. suburbs like Prince George’s and Montgomery counties will keep restrictions in place as the rest of Maryland gradually reopens today at 5 p.m. [WTOP

  • There was more media than protesters at D.C.’s “reopen” protest. [Twitter]

  • Study says government-enforced social distancing measures had a significant impact on lessening the spread of the coronavirus. [Health Affairs]

  • Nurses at United Medical Center sent a petition to hospital leadership asking for hazard pay given their sacrifices during the pandemic. [Twitter]

  • ICYMI: How collaboration leads to homeownership. [WCP]


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

  • Metro is requiring riders to wear masks. [DCist]

  • Virginia will stop juking the stats. [DCist, The Atlantic]

  • Property service workers union endorses odd couple Ward 2 candidate Jordan Grossman and Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd. [Twitter]

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

  • The commission fee cap on delivery companies is in effect. Now what? [WCP]

  • The latest creative offerings from D.C. breweries and cideries, including a beer CSA. [WCP]

  • Proposed legislation would make it possible for more people to dine outdoors at D.C. restaurants. [WBJ]

  • Where to find carry-out frozen cocktails. [Washingtonian]

  • How restaurants are creatively instituting social distancing measures in their restaurants. [Post]

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

  • Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klintilluminates a pioneering and long overshadowed artist. [WCP]

  • Local author Jason Reynolds is working to make sure children’s imaginations stay sharp at home. [WAMU]

  • National Philharmonic musicians honor health workers with a virtual performance. [YouTube]

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

  • Michael Jordan really wanted to beat one team in college: the University of Maryland. And like many things with Jordan, it started with a perceived slight. City Paper contributor Dave Ungrady looks back at why Jordan was so motivated to play the Terps. Reminder: The final two episodes of The Last Dance documentary air this Sunday. [WCP]

  • Kevin Durant’s documentary, Basketball Country: In The Water,premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The film explores why Prince George’s County, where Durant grew up, has become an epicenter for basketball talent. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks made good on his promise to let his daughter shave his head after $25,000 was raised for charity. Brooks matched the donation to raise a total of $50,000 for Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s fund benefiting frontline workers. [NBA.com]

  • Arrest warrants have been issued for former Washington cornerback Quinton Dunbar and New York Giants’ DeAndre Baker for their connection to an armed robbery investigation. [ESPN]

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

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