D.C. extends COVID-19 state of emergency to end of calendar year

Media Credit: File Photo by Dean Whitelaw | Staff Photographer

The order also states that District government agencies may ask people using D.C. facilities to provide identification and contact information “for the sole purpose of facilitating contact tracing."

Mayor Muriel Bowser is continuing D.C.’s state of emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to Dec. 31, she tweeted Wednesday.

Bowser published an emergency order Wednesday saying the extension was effective immediately and superseded any previous mayoral order issued during the public health emergency. The state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on Oct. 9, DCist reported.

“Without continued extraordinary measures authorized under a state of emergency, as well as community compliance with preventative measures, the progress the District has made in protecting the health, safety and welfare would be threatened and likely reversed,” the order reads.

The order also repealed and replaced portions of the District’s Phase Two plan, implemented June 22. New rules now allow public indoor pools to open, and fees for outdoor dining permits have been waived, according to DCist.

The District Department of Employment Services will also be responsible for issuing public health emergency grants to help train District residents to support government, educational institutions, businesses and other organizations in the coronavirus response, according to the order.

The order also states that District government agencies may ask people using D.C. facilities to provide identification and contact information “for the sole purpose of facilitating contact tracing,” according to DCist. Any information collected under the rule will be destroyed after 30 days, the order states.

“Further, rates of infection are higher in Maryland and Virginia than in Washington, D.C., and due to our porous borders, the regional situation affects the necessity to continue the state of emergency,” the order states.

The state of emergency, which grants the mayor broad powers to restrict people’s movements, set curfews and procure supplies and support, first went into effect on March 11.

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