DC Health Recommends Cancellation of Big Events

Recommendation in Effect Through March 31

634
Crowds gather outside Nats Stadium before a 2018 game. Photo: Michael Stevens.

All ‘mass-gatherings’ such as conferences and conventions should be postponed or cancelled, DC Health recommended in an advisory issued early Wednesday afternoon. Mass gatherings are defined as events where more than 1,000 people will congregate in a specific locations.

The advisory, issued just after noon on March 11, 2020, also recommended that social, cultural or entertainment events expecting large crowds also be reconsidered by organizers.

Events DC announced that they were suspending operations up to and including March 31.

On Monday night, the sports and entertainment agency learned that two more individuals that attended the the recent AIPAC conference, visitors from Ohio and Toronto respectively, had tested positive for COVID-19. Coupled with the cases from New York (two individuals) and Los Angeles (one individual), this brings the total reported number of AIPAC conference attendees that have tested positive for COVID-19 to five.

Events DC said that ‘out of an abundance of caution’ it will also continue the deep cleaning of its indoor venues, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Entertainment and Sports Arena, DC Armory, and the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center as well as office locations.

Representatives from DC United, where games are scheduled for March 14 and 22, said they were working on a plan in light of the announcement, and a statement is forthcoming.

The St. Patrick’s Parade Committee of Washington DC opted to postpone the March 15th annual parade to an unknown future date. You can find details for the new event, which may not be a parade, on the Facebook page, and sign up to receive future updates by email once details are finalized.

Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D) said that he will postpone his Friday, March 13 office hours.  He said that his office is considering a webcast of his March 25 Budget Town Hall or possible attendance by phone, in the event that is the best course of action at that time. RSVP to be sure you receive any updates on changes or how to follow along online.

Many organizations, including the Washington Ballet, about to launch their performance of Swan Lake, have said that ticket holders would have multiple options to recover their ticket values, including applying the value to other performances or donating the value. IMP Concert, behind the Anthem, Lincoln Theatre and 9:30 club, have announced that refunds will be provided to any cancelled shows.

The Washington Nationals’ home opener, scheduled for April 2, falls outside the timeline for the current advisory, but the Hill Rag has reached out to consult with the organization about contingency planning.

No word had been provided as to the status of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, scheduled to begin March 20 and last until April 12. The Hill Rag has reached out to the Executive Office of the Mayor and will update this story as information is received.

This is a developing story.