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DC’s Mayor Bowser restricts visits to nation’s capital from 27 states, orders 14-day self-quarantine

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a self-quarantine for people entering the nation’s capital from certain “high-risk” states.

“Beginning today, Monday, July 27, anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District,” the Democrat said.


(Source: NBC 4 Washington)

Those “high-risk areas” were defined as “locations where the [seven-day] moving average daily new COVID-19 case rate is … 10 or more per … 100,000 persons,” according to an order from Bowser on Friday.

Anyone self-quarantining after “non-essential travel” must not invite guests to visit and must “stay at their residence or in a hotel room, leaving only for essential medical appointments or treatment or to obtain food and other essential goods,” according to the mayor’s office.

The new regulation does not apply to those entering the city from Virginia and Maryland and is effective through October 9. Violators could face punishments with 90 days in jail or a $5,000 fine. The list of states deemed “high-risk,” which will reportedly be updated every two weeks. includes California, Florida, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin.

The listed states sparked an outcry on Twitter where many wondered about the data being used to make the decisions.

Bowser also had recommendations for residents of Washington, D.C. which was rocked by violent protests just a few short weeks ago.

“District residents are encouraged to take ‘staycations,’ to stay local, or only travel to places with low COVID-19 case counts, and to maintain physical distance from non-household members at all times,” the order which takes effect Monday stated.

“We know, unfortunately, that there are states that are seeing significant spikes and new cases,” the mayor said at a Friday news conference, according to WTOP.

“We know that there are places where people are not being as cautious or making the sacrifices that we’re making here in D.C.,” Bowser added. “And, unfortunately, when people travel in and out of D.C. from these places, that can put our community’s health at risk.”

As far as enforcing the quarantining order, Bowser  responded that “there’s nobody standing at the hotel door telling people if they can come or go, but certainly, they will be required to make all of their travelers aware of the guidelines of the local jurisdiction.”

“Do I think that … my next door neighbor is going to call the police and say, ‘You know they went to Florida, you got to make sure they stay in their house?’ No. Don’t be ridiculous. That’s not going to happen,” she added.

Incoming university and college students will also be required to self-quarantine, doing so either at their own  campuses or in housing located off-campus.

“For our colleges and universities, we will require that they maintain a list of students who will be required to quarantine because of their travel. And that list would have to be available for inspection,” Bowser said.

Though Maryland and Virginia and the surrounding areas of the nation’s capital recently saw a significant spike in the number of coronavirus cases, city reported no new deaths and only 78 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Bowser’s travel quarantine order followed her recent mandate on wearing masks outside of the home and amid consideration of rolling back some of the phased reopening efforts.

Bowser’s latest order generated plenty of reaction on social media where Twitter users had many questions.

Frieda Powers

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