WASHINGTON — With COVID-19 numbers setting new daily records, the nation’s capital is temporarily suspending all indoor dining in restaurants over the holidays.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order Friday night banning indoor dining for three weeks, starting Wednesday at 10 p.m. and extending through Jan. 15.
The District of Columbia will remain in phase two of its reopening plan, and the government described the move as a “holiday pause.”
The order also extends Washington’s public health emergency through March 31 and orders all museums to close. The entire Smithsonian network of museums, which includes the National Zoo, already shut down voluntarily in late November.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.