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Amid calls to do something about the rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration imposed new restrictions on restaurants, museums, and libraries that take effect Wednesday night. The restrictions last three weeks.
City Paper broke the news Friday morning that Bowser was going to close indoor dining. “From a public health perspective, it is absolutely the right decision,” says Grand Duchess bar manager Sam Ward, in reaction to the news. “For keeping people alive, it’s the right decision. But it’s unconscionable that it could happen without additional support from the city. It’s hard not to feel forsaken to a degree.”
Later that Friday, at 10 p.m., Bowser announced a new mayoral order that calls for a “holiday pause.” “Taken together, legal restrictions, self-limitation of activity, and the vaccine’s employment can prevent disease, save lives, and prevent a crisis at our hospitals,” the order says. The order restricts the following activities between 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23 and 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15:
- Restaurants can only offer outdoor dining, along with carry out and delivery services.
- Museums are closed.
- Libraries can only offer curbside pickup services.
- Circulator route on the National Mall is suspended.
- Departments of Parks and Recreation can only operate under reservations for swim and fitness.
- Non-essential businesses are required to telework, except if staff is needed to support minimal operations.
The new order also repeals an occupancy limit on food sellers like grocery stores. In a mayoral order issued last Wednesday, food sellers were capped at 25 percent capacity or 250 people. The order attempted to resolve a lawsuit from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which sued the District over an occupancy limit on houses of worship. “Stores must make plans that provide for safe social distancing between persons and limit occupancy to the extent necessary for safety,” the latest order says.
During a Monday press conference, Bowser said she does not expect to extend restrictions past Jan. 15. “We know and the health department tells us that three weeks is a good intervention interval,” said Bowser.
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- The daily case rate and COVID-19 hospitalizations remain in the red, at Phase 0/1 levels. To see today’s coronavirus cases and more information, visit our coronavirus dashboard. [EOM]
- How the stimulus deal reached by congressional leaders over the weekend impacts people who are unemployed and their housing. [Post, DCist]
- Karen Hylton-Brown—mother of Karon, who was killed in a moped crash while being followed by officers—was arrested Saturday night during a protest outside a police station. [Post]
- Not just free rent: The giveaways at luxury apartment buildings. [Washingtonian]
By Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ANC6B lawyers up in its efforts to keep a sports book out of the neighborhood. [Capitol Hill Corner]
- AG Karl Racine asked U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin to charge those who burned BLM banners taken from Black churches. [Twitter]
- Proud Boys leader takes credit for burning the banner. [DCist]
By Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
There was one more spot up for grabs at Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s “culinary clubhouse,” The […]
- Green Almond Pantry suffered a fire over the weekend. [PoPville]
- Restaurant workers on why they should be next in line for the vaccine. [Food & Wine]
- Restaurants are hibernating for the winter. What does that really mean? [Eater]
By Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Congress is expected to pass a $900 billion stimulus package soon that will include the Save Our Stages Act and $15 billion in dedicated funding for live music venues, independent theaters, and cultural institutions. [Rolling Stone]
- A mural honoring Lorraine Marie Thomas, who died in October, went up last month. Then it came down again, apparently thanks to a misunderstanding. Now it’s been repainted, more “vibrant and colorful” than before. [DCist]
- Christmas is this week, and it’s very different from usual, but here are five performances you can stream from the safety of home. [Post]
- Washington Performing Arts’ Dance in D.C. series of short films show off the D.C. dance community and their different artistic styles. [Post]
By Emma Sarappo (tips? email@example.com)
- Hockey is back. The NHL will play a 56-game regular season starting on Jan. 13. [CBS Sports]
- The Washington Football Team fell 20-15 to the Seahawks in a game where the team dug itself an early hole but showed some fight in the fourth quarter. [NBC Sports Washington]
- Local amateur runner Keira D’Amato, who recently set an American record in the 10 mile in D.C., finished second at the Marathon Project in two hours, 22 minutes, and 56 seconds, which makes her the eighth fastest American female marathoner of all time. [LetsRun.com]
By Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)