D.C. Mayor Orders 14-Day Quarantine for Travelers from Coronavirus Hotspots

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a press conference on May 11
SAUL LOEB/AFP

Visitors hailing from areas deemed hotspots of the Chinese coronavirus must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the district, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced on Friday.

“Beginning Monday, July 27, anyone coming into Washington, DC, from a high-risk area who was not traveling for essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days,” the mayor’s presentation reads.

The order excludes Maryland and Virginia. DC Health is expected to publish a list of the areas considered “high-risk,” which will be updated every two weeks. Such areas are locations where “the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 people.”

If an individual is coming into the district from a high-risk area after performing an essential duty or coming to perform an essential duty, he or she “should only leave home/where they are staying in order to perform essential activities,” Bowser’s presentation states.

Students arriving from areas deemed “high-risk” will also be required to self-quarantine for 14 days:

D.C. officially entered into the second phase of reopening on July 22, but Bowser has outlined a number of “potential dial backs,” listing personal services, indoor dining, elective procedures, recreational sports, and a 50-person limit on gatherings.

The update comes on the heels of Bowser’s Wednesday order, mandating everyone ages three and older wear a mask in various indoor and outdoor settings. While the order contains the standard exemptions, it also does not apply to judges, lawmakers, or government employees while they are “on duty.”

“The enforcement provisions of this Order shall not be applied to persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty; and shall not apply to any employees of the federal government while they are on duty,” the order states.

Violators of the order can be fined up to $1,000.

D.C. has reported 11,649 cases of the virus and 581 related fatalities as of Thursday. The positivity rate remains relatively low, at 2.9 percent.

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