Coronavirus in DC

José Andrés Urges People to Stay Away from Tidal Basin for Paella

National Portrait Gallery's 2019 November Gala
Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images

D.C. Chef José Andrés is promising people paella if they stay away from the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. His request comes after the National Parks Service asked people to stay home and practice social distancing.

Andrés started the #StayHomeCherryBlossomsChallenge to motivate D.C. residents and tourists to avoid the popular site on the National Mall.

He tweeted Sunday morning saying "next year we will cook a huge Paella for thousands of Washingtonians to celebrate life, and our beautiful" Washington D.C. The chef has been tweeting all morning using the hashtag to get people on board.

The U.S. Park Police shut down Ohio Drive at Independence Avenue SW on Saturday and are not allowing vehicles into the Tidal Basin. This step was taken to limit the crowds and discourage people from congregating at the cherry blossoms.

Though smaller than usual, crowds at the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms are cause of concern about the coronavirus. News4's Jackie Bensen reports Metro closed stations nearby to prevent crowding at stations and on trains.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, officials at all levels are urging people to stay home and practice social distancing to limit the spread of the virus and the number of people exposed to COVID-19.

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