coronavirus

‘Stay at Home’: DC Area Starts Another Week of Social Distancing

“I want America to understand: This week it’s gonna get bad,” the top federal public health official said Monday morning

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Stir-crazy or not, stay at home, local and federal officials say. 

Monday begins a second week of social distancing for many people in the Washington, D.C., area. Schools and offices remain closed, the Metro system is operating with significant cuts to service and the D.C. mayor directed the D.C. National Guard and police to keep people away from the cherry blossom trees after crowds flocked to the Tidal Basin this weekend. 

The tally of known coronavirus cases had ticked up to 623 in D.C., Maryland and Virginia by Monday morning. At least 11 people had died, including a 59-year-old Franciscan friar in Northeast D.C

On “The Today Show” Monday morning, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the reach of the virus would continue. 

“I want America to understand: This week it’s gonna get bad,” the top federal public health official said. 

"Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now,” Adams continued. “Test or no test, you can be spreading it to someone else or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.” 

Despite the pandemic, people stood shoulder-to-shoulder to see D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms in peak bloom on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered additional street closures near the Tidal Basin and said D.C. police and the D.C. National Guard would “enforce a restricted access zone around the Tidal Basin until further notice to ensure social distancing and prevent further community transmission of COVID-19.” 

If you do need to head out on Monday and take Metro, expect trains to run as infrequently as every 20 minutes. Buses are operating on a modified Sunday schedule. No bus fare is being collected. 

D.C.’s mayor and Maryland’s governor were each set to address the public at 11 a.m. Prince George’s County officials were set to speak at 12:30 p.m. And Virginia’s governor was set to speak at 2 p.m. 

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