DC Extends Stay-at-Home Order, School Closures Through May 15

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What to Know

  • The mayor of D.C. extended the stay-at home order, school closure and restrictions on businesses in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
  • D.C. now requires masks to be worn in ride-sharing vehicles, taxis and hotels.
  • A 45-year-old woman is among the latest people in D.C. to die of the virus.

D.C.’s mayor has extended the stay-at-home order, school closures and restrictions on businesses through May 15. 

The restrictions in place to slow the spread of coronavirus may need to be extended for even longer, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

“I don’t know if that means we will be open on May 16, but it will be a point for us to check in. And if we need to extend it beyond that, we certainly will," she said.

D.C.s stay-at-home order was set to expire on April 24. The extension comes after President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s open to some states "reopening" before federal social distancing guidelines expire at the end of month.

Go here to see what's allowed and prohibited under the stay-at-home orders in effect across the region.

The mayor said she could not say whether school would resume by the end of the normal academic year. 

“We want to examine every single option and then make that report to families,” she said.

Additionally, D.C. now requires masks to be worn in ride-sharing vehicles, taxis and hotels. 

Bowser will sign an order Wednesday that requires masks to be worn by people using taxis and ride share vehicles; hotel workers, guests and visitors; and workers and customers of food sellers. 

Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia

COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

Anyone who uses or works in public transit is “strongly encouraged” to wear a mask. 

Also, the mayor ordered the city Department of Health Care Finance to identify “residents who may have an underlying health condition that makes them more vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID-19.” The focus is on infections among African Americans.

Abiding by the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines helps protect everyone, including those who are disproportionately affected.

"If you're concerned about black people dying in Washington, D.C., everyone needs to do their part," Bowser said.

The mayor gave updates on some of the most vulnerable populations in D.C. Four members of the homeless community have died and more than 200 homeless people are being quarantined in five hotels. 

Ten people have died at long-term care facilities, including nine residents and one staff member. There are 78 known cases of the virus at various facilities. 

One person has died at the D.C. jail and four patients at Saint Elizabeths Hospital have died. 

The number of arrests is significantly down in D.C. The week prior to the health emergency, an average of 92 people were arrested every day. An average of 29 people were arrested every day last week. 

D.C. reported 139 new cases of the virus on Tuesday. The number of known cases is now 2,197, with 72 deaths. A 45-year-old woman is among those to succumb to the virus.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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