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Adjustments to Phase 2 COVID Restrictions Effective Wednesday

On Monday, Nov. 23 Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced that the District was backing off on some elements of the Phase 2 reopening, tightening restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise throughout the nation.

The rollback comes as the District daily case rate has risen to levels not seen since May, with a 7-day-average case rate of 22.4 per 100,000. With demand for COVID-19 testing high into the holiday weekend, the mean test turnaround is up to 3.5 days; the ideal is less than two days between testing and when a patient receives results. Transmission and positivity rates, however, have declined slightly over the past three days.

As of Tuesday, there are 20,516 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the District. The District reported four additional deaths due to the disease, meaning that 673 District residents have died of COVID-19. African Americans still account for 75 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the District, compared to about 46 percent of the population.

Graphic showing metrics monitored by DC Health. The elements in red are at Phase 1 levels. Screenshot: coronavirus.dc.gov

The rollback falls short of a stay-at-home order, and non-essential businesses have not been closed.

  • non-essential, non-retail businesses are “strongly encouraged” to telework
  • limit for outdoor gatherings is reduced from 50 to 25 people
  • indoor gatherings should not exceed ten people
  • gyms and trainers must suspend indoor group exercise; outdoor excerise classes must not exceed 25 people
  • the live entertainment pilot, expected to run until Dec. 30th, is temporarily suspended
  • alcohol sales and consumption in restaurants must end at 10 p.m., although restaruants can stay open until midnight. Bowser said this is a result of “less compliance with the rules later into the evening.”
  • indoor maximum of diners inside restaurants will be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent of normal capacity
  • the number of people who may be inside a house of worship at one time is reduced from 100 to 50 people, or 50 percent normal capcity –whichever is lower.

“We hope to help and guide Washingtonians in order to limit their exposure so that we can get the virus under control,” Bowser said.

Read the Mayor’s order rolling back restrictions and see full data at coronavirus.dc.gov

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