Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the city’s indoor dining ban two days beyond the presidential inauguration Tuesday, as locals brace for potential public safety threats to follow last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Bowser extended the ban, which cites “public safety and health reasons,” until Jan. 22 at 5:00 a.m. before it was set to expire this Friday, according to her official order. Bowser said during a press conference Monday that the move would be targeted at public safety fears amid the anticipation of renewed riots around Inauguration Day, Washington City Paper reported.
COVID-19 cases started to surge following the ban’s first installment, according to the report. Bowser’s order notes that total COVID-19 infections in D.C. have climbed to almost 32,000, resulting in 821 deaths.
“More than 22 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 373,000 have died from the disease,” the order reads. “We have hit a new record in the District, with transmission at 41.22 new cases per 100,000 persons.”
The ban, which also closes museums and libraries, still permits restaurants to continue offering outdoor dining and carryout and delivery services.