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Bowser Announces Further Phase Two Rollbacks

The District is further rolling back elements of the Phase 2 reopening, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt announced Monday during the Situational Update.

The two also spoke about the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the District and the local economic response including new stimulus checks for DC residents. 

In response to the recent surge of COVID cases, Bowser rolled back many of the adjustments made in phase two of her reopening plan, adding to the restrictions that went into effect Nov. 25.

Effective Dec. 7, group contact sports for recreational leagues, high schools and sports clubs must suspend operations. This is inclusive of DC Public Schools, parochial schools and private schools in the District. Children middle-school aged and younger may continue to participate in clinics provided that there are no more than 12 students in a group and that the activities do not involve physical contact. 

“The decision to do this is in regards to unsupervised interactions that are happening before and after activities with older students,” Bowser said. 

The order does not apply to colleges, universities and professional leagues as they have testing programs in place. 

The Dec. 7 restrictions are in addition to rollbacks announced Nov. 25. According to the Mayor’s order, issued last week, non-essential, non-retail businesses are strongly encouraged to continue to telework. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people while indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, gyms, private trainers and personal trainers are required to suspend indoor training and group sessions and restaurants are required to close at midnight and stop serving alcohol at 10:00 p.m..

Local Stimulus Payment

For District residents currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will receive a one-time stimulus payment of $1,200 provided by the DC government. The PUA program, which is set to expire at the end of the month, covers DC residents who are ineligible for unemployment insurance such as self-employed workers or independent contractors. 

Individuals must both live and be currently or previously employed in the District to be eligible for the stimulus. DC residents who applied by Nov. 30 for the PUA program need not be approved, but the application must be submitted in order to receive the stimulus funding. 

COVID-19 Enforcement

Bowser encouraged residents to continue to monitor and limit contact with people outside of their home especially throughout this holiday season. 

“I think DC residents have been amazing,” Bowser said. “The holidays and compliance has been hard and we still have a few more months of this.”

Nesbitt discussed the implementation of mask audits saying that “compliance is remarkable” noting audits of public spaces and venues. She said she does not believe that further enforcement of public mask wearing.  

“We’ve had discussions about having penalties related to the mask mandate, but I think it would yield very little impact in terms of compliance,” Nesbitt said.

Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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