Hunker Down: DC, Maryland, Virginia Issue Stay-at-Home Orders

Cellist playing on Maryland porch
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

If you don’t need to come into contact with others, don't.

Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. — in that order — each issued stay-at-home orders Monday to slow the spread of coronavirus, further shutting down ordinary life and business in the region.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he issued his state's order because the spike in COVID-19 cases in the D.C. area began “looking much like New York did two weeks ago," he said Tuesday morning on NPR's "Morning Edition."

The stay-at-home orders are in effect now in Maryland and Virginia. The order in D.C. goes into effect Wednesday. All residents are ordered to leave home only for essential reasons, such as getting food, seeking medical care and exercising. Violators face potential criminal penalties. 

Go here for a full rundown of what’s allowed and prohibited in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. There are a few quirks related to roof decks, liquor stores, boating and beaches.

News4's Shomari Stone breaks down what you can and can't do during a stay-at-home order.

Here are some other headlines Tuesday in the D.C. region and beyond. 


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Meal program tackles food insecurity in Southwest DC

Virginia families weigh in on potential cellphone ban in schools

If you need to ride Metro, you’ll see additional restrictions. The first and last cars on Metrorail trains are closed to passengers, to keep them farther from workers. 

D.C. Pride has been postponed. The organizers of the Capital Pride Parade and Festival announced Monday that new dates will be announced in the coming weeks. 

The owners of some D.C. restaurants are offering cooking and cocktail-making classes on Instagram and giving employees the tips. Kith and Kin Chef Kwame Onwuachi launched an Instagram show called “Eating Clean While Quarantined.” He posts the ingredients people will need and the next day followers can cook along with him.

As restaurants were forced to close or switch to take out only, some were faced with laying off employees. Now they are tasked with fidning new ways to support the people who work for them. NBC4's Meagan Fitzgerald spoke with two D.C. restaurant owners doing just that.

Nationally, Whole Foods employees called for a nationwide “sick out” on Tuesday to protest what they call a lack of protections for workers. They want paid leave for any employee who self-quarantines, reinstatement of health care expenses for part-time and seasonal workers, hazard pay in the form of double the current hourly wage and a commitment to shut down any store where an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

A red-and-white siren spun at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City Monday night. The siren will spin every night “through the COVID-19 battle” to honor the “heroic emergency workers on the front line of the fight," management said.

Internationally, Spain's coronavirus deaths jumped by a record number Tuesday as the country's medical system strained to care for tens of thousands of infected patients. Italy opened a 200-bed field hospital at a fairgrounds in Milan to ease the pressure on overcrowded intensive care units.

And now something delightfully goofy: A woman wearing a big Elmo head is dancing outside at The Wharf for 10 minutes at noon every day

A woman dressed up as Elmo is showing up every day at noon at The Wharf to dance for 10 minutes. She says she wants to lift people's spirits amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m just staying positive and making sure that everybody has their spirits up in this time,” she said. 

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