No Large Groups, Many Businesses Closed: What's Now Banned in the DC Area

In other local headlines for Wednesday, a total of 19 Metro stations will be closed soon and some grocery stores have Plexiglas barriers at the cash registers

Deserted Georgetown
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Many businesses deemed nonessential are now closed in the Washington, D.C., area and groups of 10 or more people are banned as our leaders set restrictions designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Here’s what’s allowed and banned as of Wednesday morning: 

DC: All nonessential businesses must close by 10 p.m. Wednesday. Restaurants already are required to only offer takeout, delivery or carryout service. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Go here for additional details

Maryland: All nonessential businesses must close. Restaurants can only offer takeout, delivery or carryout service. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. Go here for additional details

Virginia: All recreational businesses, entertainment businesses and personal care service providers must close. Nonessential retail businesses can remain open but can only have 10 patrons at a time. Restaurants can only offer takeout, delivery or carryout service. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. Go here for additional details.

As of Wednesday morning, there were 896 known cases of coronavirus in our area. D.C. had 183 cases, Maryland had 423 and Virginia had 290.

Metro trains and buses across the D.C. area are running on limited schedules. If you don’t need to use the Metro system, don’t, officials asked. Nineteen Metro stations will be closed starting Thursday, and some station entrances will be closed. Metro said Tuesday night that the closures will “help reduce the risk of exposure to employees and save critical cleaning supplies for the remaining stations.”

Coronavirus concerns are changing the way riders are taking the bus. Starting this week, riders will have to board from the rear door to limit contact with the driver. News4's Adam Tuss reports.

Some Safeway grocery stores in the area now have Plexiglas barriers at the cash registers. Harris Teeter said Tuesday that they will install the barriers and use “educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters."

On the national level, the White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced $2 trillion emergency legislation in the wee hours of Wednesday. The largest economic rescue measure in history will direct aid to workers, businesses and the health care system. The deal includes a one-time payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. If your income is high, you may not be eligible. 

Internationally, Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced Wednesday morning. He had mild symptoms and was working from home. 

D.C. and Maryland officials were set to address the public at 11 a.m. Virginia officials were scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. You can watch each press conference live on and in the NBC Washington app. And we’ll have stories on the headlines. 

And a little something to warm your heart: A recycling company in Beltsville, Maryland received hundreds of unopened boxes last month. Something told one of the partners to hold on to them. They recently opened the boxes and found almost 36,000 N95 respirator masks. 

The business owners could have sold the masks but they opted to donate them to hospitals and nursing homes across the D.C. area.

"It feels good to help people, especially right now,” Andrew Springer said. 

When someone brought thousands of N95 masks to a family-owned company in Beltsville to be recycled, Gary Shipp decided to hang on to them — despite his son telling him to throw them out. Now, their company is donating the 36,000 masks to health care workers in need amid the coronavirus pandemic. News4's Cory Smith reports.
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