Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has reportedly excused her attendance at Joe Biden’s victory speech in Delaware, a state that requires quarantine after returning under Bowser’s coronavirus mandate, saying it was essential travel exempt under D.C.’s restrictions.
Bowser’s office released an updated list of high risk states, including Delaware, on November 2 noting that “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.”
An updated travel advisory under Mayor’s Order 2020-110 requires visitors and residents to use testing, in conjunction with other strategies, to understand their potential exposure.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) November 6, 2020
“Individuals traveling from high-risk states after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs or experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing,” the order said.
Despite this order, Bowser attended the former vice president’s victory speech in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware, Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“On Saturday, Mayor Bowser attended the remarks of the President-elect and the Vice President-elect and met with a few people on their team,” Falcicchio said. “She went on Saturday evening and returned the same evening for this essential travel.”
Falcicchio did not respond to a request for comment as to why Bowser’s trip was essential.
Dc @MayorBowser & staff attended @JoeBiden victory speech in Wilmington, DE Saturday. Delaware on the Mayor’s list of “High Risk” states which would require quarantine after returning. Bowser staff says the trip was “essential travel” exempted under Mayor’s order. @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/GOAdajeENp
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) November 9, 2020
Bowser’s office has previously defined “essential travel” in March as “travel related to the provision of, or access to, Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations, including travel to and from work to operate Essential Businesses or maintain Essential Governmental Functions.”
Essential travel includes travel to care for vulnerable persons, to a house of worship, to an educational institution to get educational materials, travel to a return home outside of D.C., travel required by the law, or travel within the D.C. region “to engage in allowable activities under that jurisdiction’s laws.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect comment from Mayor Bowser’s office.
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