DC-area businesses, workers confront new coronavirus reality

A stretch of temporarily closed restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland. (AP)

Tuesday marked the beginning of a new reality around D.C. and Maryland: It was the first full day of business restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

You can still eat and drink at bars and restaurants, but you can’t dine in — delivery, carryout and grab-and-go are the options. Movie theaters, athletic clubs and some other large businesses are closed altogether. And gatherings of over 50 people are banned as well.

How long these restrictions last will have a lot to do with how long this nationwide health crisis lasts.

But, for too many businesses, there’s concern that they won’t be around when it’s all over, and those fears have led to some stunning preemptive moves.

There was word Tuesday that Busboys and Poets as well as Compass Coffee laid off much of their staffs. The Dubliner laid off all of theirs.

(At least one large business — Marriott — began laying off hotel employees as well on Tuesday.)


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Tom Johnson, managing partner of The Hill Restaurant Group, had said they would defy D.C.’s new restrictions before later relenting. Now, he believes the chances of closing for good are pretty high: “I don’t know if there’s any coming back from it,” he said.

Johnson told WTOP he would prefer to be forced to close altogether, as it would open the possibility to some sort of assistance. And he was skeptical that the new restrictions would be helpful.

“You still got the Metro open. You got the buses running,” he said. “They got to come in the same way. They got to touch the doorknob.”

Chef Jose Andres has closed restaurants in D.C. and New York, but is mindful of his staffers’ situation.

“All restaurant employees will be provided with paid leave and current health benefits for at least the first two weeks,” he said in an online statement. In addition, many of his restaurants have been converted into “community kitchens” serving lower-priced carry-out meals.

Meanwhile, some restaurants are looking at a new way to keep the money flowing: gift card purchases. The Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District, for instance, is encouraging the purchase of what they call “Restaurant Bonds.”

And the D.C. Council approved an emergency coronavirus bill Tuesday that includes a range of measures aimed at supporting workers affected by COVID-19 closures.

The legislation extends unemployment benefits to those out of work because of the coronavirus, and creates a small business grant program for self-employed people and independent contractors who don’t qualify for unemployment.

The measure also prohibits price gouging, evictions and utility shut-offs.

With D.C. restaurants and bars shifting to takeout and delivery only, pickup and delivery of closed alcohol containers from restaurants is now allowed as long as customers order food as well.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday that D.C. businesses can apply for disaster assistance loans as well from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The low-interest loans of up to $2 million “may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid,” said a statement from the District.

Also in D.C. on Tuesday: The Kennedy Center announced that all public performances and events are now canceled through May 10. It’s an extension of its original cancellation through March. Some events might be rescheduled, they said. Ticketholders have several options, including refunds or exchanging for tickets to another event.

In Virginia, however, dining in remains an option. Gov. Ralph Northam issued an emergency order Tuesday evening limiting groups inside restaurants, gyms and theaters to 10 people, but he stopped short of ordering businesses to close.

Though there is no Virginia-wide order closing bars and restaurants, similar to the ones in Maryland and D.C., officials in Arlington County are pleading with bars and restaurants to close their dining rooms and offer takeout and delivery service only.

The county, on its own, does not have the legal authority to shutter dine-in service, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey told WTOP Tuesday morning. She said she has contacted Northam’s office as well as statewide lawmakers seeking measures similar to what D.C. and Maryland have rolled out.

“We have just got to slow down the spread of this disease,” Garvey said.

She said it’s important that bars and restaurants take action now.

“It is St. Patrick’s Day; I’ve got my green on,” she said. “And, traditionally, it’s a time for everybody to get together … in bars and have a great time and a great community feeling. We cannot do that today. We cannot.”

Garvey said some businesses in Arlington are voluntarily shutting down, but she said she is “praying” that Northam issues a statewide order closing dine-in service at restaurants and bars.

“It’s one of the frustrations sometimes of being in local government: I know what we need to do. We’ve got to do it, but we don’t have the authority to do it,” Garvey said. “And that’s very upsetting.”

She added: “It’s not a drill; it’s not a movie; this is real. And it’s here and it’s now, and we have got to take steps now to slow it down.”

WTOP’s Jack Moore, Alejandro Alvarez, Rick Massimo, Melissa Howell and Max Smith contributed to this report.

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People wearing face-masks line up to buy supplies from a shop during the coronavirus outbreak in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 4, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
People wearing face masks line up to buy supplies from a shop during the coronavirus outbreak in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 4, 2020.

coronavirus, COVID-19
Residents take part in an aerobics class led by city police instructing from the street below during a lockdown ordered by the government in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, April 3, 2020.

A goat walks past a closed stored near Trinity Square in Llandudno, north Wales, Tuesday March 31, 2020. A group of goats have been spotted walking around the deserted streets of the seaside town during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus.

A man wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, cycles on the street in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Cars drive on the A8 motorway near Kirchheim Unter Treck, Germany, Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Customers keep distances between each other to avoid a infection with the coronavirus as they visit the market on the cathedral square in Mainz, Germany, April 4, 2020.  For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
Customers keep distances between each other to avoid a infection with the coronavirus as they visit the market on the cathedral square in Mainz, Germany, April 4, 2020.

In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York, March 16, 2020. As of Sunday, nearly 2,000 people with the virus have been hospitalized in the state of New York and 114 have died, officials said. More than 15,000 have tested positive statewide, including 9,000 in New York City. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York City.

Coffins with the bodies of victims of coronavirus are stored waiting for burial or cremation at the Collserola morgue in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Coffins with the bodies of victims of coronavirus are stored waiting for burial or cremation at the Collserola morgue in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

A man wearing a face mask and gloves to protect against the new coronavirus carries his shopping as he walks past closed shops at the Tajrish traditional bazaar in northern Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 4, 2020. In the first working day after Iranian New Year holidays authorities have allowed some government offices and businesses to re-open with limited working hours, when schools, universities, and many businesses still are ordered to be closed aimed to prevent the spread of the virus.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
A man, wearing a face mask and gloves to protect against the new coronavirus, carries his shopping as he walks past closed shops at the Tajrish traditional bazaar in northern Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 4, 2020.

People from an apartment complex board an ambulance to be taken to a hospital for quarantine after a contact was found to be COVID-19 positive, in Gauhati, India, Saturday, April 4, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
People from an apartment complex board an ambulance to be taken to a hospital for quarantine after a contact was found to be COVID-19 positive, in Gauhati, India, Saturday, April 4, 2020.

A giant television over the A57 Motorway screen urges people to stay home on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, England. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work.
A giant television over the A57 Motorway screen urges people to stay home on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, England.

The Ministry of antiquities lights up the pyramids in an expression of support for health workers battling the coronavirus outbreak, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Giza, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
The Ministry of Antiquities lights up the pyramids in an expression of support for health workers battling the coronavirus outbreak, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Giza, Egypt.

Subway riders wear protective masks and gloves on a sparsely populated car during morning hours due to COVID-19 concerns that are driving down ridership, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tightened work-from-home rules Thursday as confirmed cases continued to climb in New York, an expected jump as testing becomes more widespread. But he stressed that roadblocks and martial law for New York City were merely rumors.
Subway riders wear protective masks and gloves on a sparsely populated car during morning hours due to COVID-19 concerns that are driving down ridership, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in New York. New York Gov.

A couple walks along a usually busy Fremont Street after casinos were ordered to shut down due to the coronavirus  outbreak, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Las Vegas.
A couple walks along a usually busy Fremont Street after casinos were ordered to shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Las Vegas.

A woman rests on the balcony of a building as people stay in their houses to prevent the spread of coronavirus,, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Spain will mobilize 200 billion euros or the equivalent to one fifth of the country's annual output in loans, credit guarantees and subsidies for workers and vulnerable citizens, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Tuesday. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.
A woman rests on the balcony of a building as people stay in their houses to prevent the spread of coronavirus,, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

A masked couple walks on the empty Trocadero next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron said that starting on Tuesday, people would be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A masked couple walks on the empty Trocadero next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron said that starting on Tuesday, people would be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness.

Chef José Andres talks to journalists about why he is converting Zaytinya into a grab-and-go meal restaurant in response to the novel coronavirus on March 17, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Andres will convert all his D.C. restaurants into “community kitchens” in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Workers use a tape measure to mark spaces 6 feet apart for people to wait in line safely as they convert the outdoor plaza in front of chef José Andres’ Zaytinya into a grab-and-go meal restaurant in response to the novel coronavirus March 17, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A woman watches from a waiting area as a nurse administers a novel coronavirus test at a testing booth outside Yangji hospital in Seoul on March 17, 2020. A South Korean hospital has introduced “phone booth”-style coronavirus testing facilities that avoid medical staff having to touch patients directly and cut down disinfection times.

An elderly woman enters a novel coronavirus testing booth outside the Yangji hospital in Seoul on March 17, 2020.

A deserted view of Safdarjung Tomb, closed for tourists to prevent spread of COVID-19 on March 17, 2020 in New Delhi, India.

A worker of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) measures a passenger’s temperature at a control point at the Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa, on March 17, 2020.

A man walks past closed shops at Marrakesh’s Jamaa el-Fna square on March 16, 2020.

The Don Afonso Henriques garden or Alameda garden in the city of Lisbon is shown to be solitary on March 17, 2020, due to the voluntary confinement of many of the citizens and tourists.

A newspaper headline warns of the potential of further measures to attempt to fight the coronavirus pandemic on March 17, 2020 in London, England.

A scene of ‘Rue de l’Ile’ on March 17, 2020 in Annecy, France.

A woman wearing the mask walks past a restaurant as its employee looks at her through the locked glass door, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 17, 2020.

People walk in Union Station in Washington, Monday, March 16, 2020. The U.S. surgeon general says the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has reached the level that Italy recorded two weeks ago. It’s a sign that infections are expected to rise in America as the government steps up testing and financial markets continue to fall.

Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation’s capital, is nearly empty during morning rush hour as many government and private sector workers stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, in Washington, Monday, March 16, 2020.

Washington Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation’s capital, is nearly empty during morning rush hour as many government and private sector workers stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, in Washington, Monday, March 16, 2020.

Palestinian volunteers spray disinfectant down a street at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on March 16, 2020, during a campaign by Hamas to stem a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Workers look on at Laurel Park Race Track in an event that allowed no spectators Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Laurel, Md.

Local resident Adrian W. Chan, who works as a banker, walks on his way to find face masks for his parents in Vancouver as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus, in Hong Kong on March 17, 2020.

Laurie Kuypers, a registered nurse, reaches into a car to take a nasopharyngeal swab from a patient at a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing station for University of Washington Medicine patients Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Seattle.

Medical assistant Miriam Fuentes gives a patient instructions via sign at a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing station for University of Washington Medicine patients Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Seattle.

A man pushes a stroller along the National Mall, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.

A sign announces the closure of the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol is visible as a tour group of only two people on Segways, usually in a much bigger group this time of year, moves along the National Mall, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.

Deanna Butts reaches for one of the last packages of toilet paper at Target in the Tenleytown area of Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Associated Press journalist Kevin Freking has his temperature checked before a coronavirus task force briefing, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.

A downtown Bethesda, Md., restaurant is closed as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order takes effect, closing bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters across the state in response to coronavirus, Monday, March 16, 2020.

A downtown Bethesda, Md., restaurant is closed as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order takes effect, closing bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters across the state in response to coronavirus, Monday, March 16, 2020.

Michaella Pratt and her children Preston Pratt, 6, Aubrey Pratt, 4, from Arlington, Va., use their time with school closing because of the coronavirus outbreak, to visit the near-empty Tidal Basin in Washington, Monday, March 16, 2020.

Rhonda Lassen, right, visiting Washington from LeMars, Iowa, walks with her grandchildren Claire and Harper Rueter, center, from Virginia, along a path at an almost empty Tidal Basin lined with cherry blossom that are about to peak, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Washington.

A security officer wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus checks the temperature of a government employee at the entrance of La Moneda Presidential Palace in Santiago on March 17, 2020.

A woman wearing a mask walks through a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Arlington, Va.

Customers Tim Beinz and John Kuentz walk into a restaurant Monday March 16, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The two are part of a construction crew from out of town that is working in the area and hopes that restaurants will not close.

Obadah Hijazi, right, and his wife Wesam Albasha, right, try to decide where to get lunch during a visit to Annapolis, Monday, March 16, 2020.

A passenger arriving from Brussels wearing a mask to protect himself from the new coronavirus looks for his relatives in the international arrivals zone at Dulles airport, outside Washington, on March 13 2020.

Cafe’s and shops are empty of pedestrians in the historic center of Antwerp, Belgium, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Belgium has closed schools, restaurants and bars, as as well as cancelled sporting and cultural events in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Pharmacist Evelyn Kim, wears a mask and gloves at the CVS pharmacy at Target in the Tenleytown area of Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. As they remain open, she is wearing a mask and gloves to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Erin Carroll, Clay Colehouse, Jessica Goblin, Travis Victorio, Mary Fitzell
Clay Colehouse of Crownsville, Md., second from left, gives the dog Marty a treat as he and his friends, from left, Erin Carroll of Severna Park, Md., Jessica Goblin of Severna Park, Md., Travis Victorio of Millersville, Md., and Mary Fitzell of Millersville, Md., have lunch during a visit to Annapolis, Monday, March 16, 2020.

Maryland free student meals
Anne Arundel County residents receive free breakfast, lunch and dinner, at a mobile stop in Annapolis, Monday, March 16, 2020. Anne Arundel County is providing free meals for students while schools are closed for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan closed all public schools in the state from March 16 to March 27.

A downtown Bethesda, Md. restaurant is closed as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order takes effect, closing bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters across the state in response to coronavirus, Monday, March 16, 2020.

The Lincoln Memorial is lightly visited on the National Mall, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. The National Mall, usually busy with tourists, remains lightly visited amid concerns over the coronavirus.

A video display with a message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reads “Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands” on the Gallery Place Metro subway train platform in Washington, Friday, March 13, 2020, to inform commuters on how to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

There are no visitors touring the Capitol Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 13, 2020, which has been closed to tourists because of the coronavirus.

Carroll Rodgers of Washington, cleans steps in the Capitol Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 13, 2020. Because the Capitol Visitor Center is closed, employees are able to do their regular cleaning later in the day instead of only in the very early hours of the days before tourists come through.

The Capitol Visitor Center is empty early Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington, after the Capitol was shut down to tourists.

Peru’s Alianza Lima and Argentina’s Racing Club play a Copa Libertadores soccer match at the Presidente Peron stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The match was played in an empty, closed door stadium as part of the government’s measures to contain transmission of the new coronavirus. For most people the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia.

Pakistani cricket teams practice in an empty National Stadium, ahead of their match in the Pakistan Super League in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, March 13, 2020. The Pakistan Cricket Board decides the Pakistan Super League will go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak and the withdrawal Friday of 10 foreign players. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness.

A man walks near the entrance of the Louvre Museum, in Paris, Friday, March 13, 2020. The Louvre Museum in Paris and the Versailles Palace both said that they are closing “until further notice” amid the French government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A gloved grocery shopper is dismayed over empty shelves at a local Ralphs supermarket in an attempt to stock up on supplies, Friday, March 13, 2020, in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles.

A waiter waits for customers in central Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, March 13, 2020.

A bus conductor disinfects the hands of a passenger, after the government directed all operators of “matatus”, or public minibuses, to provide hand sanitizer to their clients, on a busy street in downtown Nairobi, Kenya Friday, March 13, 2020. Authorities in Kenya said Friday that a Kenyan woman who recently traveled from the United States via London has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first case in the East African country.

A woman looks at an empty bread aisle at a supermarket in Antwerp, Belgium, Friday, March 13, 2020.

The coronavirus can be a downer for those wanting to get high in one of Amsterdam’s world famous “coffee shops”, people queue to enter at coffeeshop Prix d’Ami where clients are scanned for fever, one of the symptoms of a coronavirus infection, and are obliged to wash their hands before being allowed to enter to roll a joint and smoke marijuana in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 13, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Students sanitize hands to avoid the contact of coronavirus before their morning class at a high school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

People wear masks at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Panic and pollution drive the market for protective face masks, so business is booming in Asia, where fear of the coronavirus from China is straining supplies and helping make mask-wearing the new normal.

Hospital staff wash the emergency entrance of Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some infected with a new virus are being treated, in Wuhan, China, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.

Children wearing face masks pose for photos at a display for the upcoming Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat, at the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

Workers wearing protective clothing disinfect the main hall of the Parliament, in Ankara Turkey, Friday, March 13, 2020, as a precaution against the coronavirus.

A woman walks through Chinatown along quiet Grant Avenue, Friday, March 13, 2020, in San Francisco. A wave of closures and postponements spanning everything from government offices to cultural events and sports followed California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call this week for cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of 250 people or more because of the coronavirus threat.

A general view of Mayor square in central Madrid, Spain, Friday, March 13, 2020. Exhibitions, conferences, sports centers and museums are closing in Madrid, including the Spanish capital’s Prado Museum for the first time in eight decades.

A student, wearing a homemade protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, lines up for class in Havana, Cuba, Friday, March 13, 2020.

A man walks through the empty hall of Terminal II at the airport in Munich, Germany, Friday, March 13, 2020. Due to the Coronavirus a large number of flights have to be cancelled.

A private security man walks at one of the biggest malls in Lebanon which has closed its shops in an effort to spread the coronavirus outbreak in the country, at Hazmiyeh area east of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, March 13, 2020.

A woman passes the empty and closed Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, March 13, 2020, a closure in line with the national policy relating to the coronavirus.

People wear face masks as they shop at a market in Beijing, Saturday, March 14, 2020.

A woman shops among empty shelves at a Hy-Vee food store Friday, March 13, 2020, in Overland Park, Kan.

A sign at a strip club advertises “coronavirus-free lap dances” Friday, March 13, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Shoppers browse barren shelves at a supermarket, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Larchmont, N.Y.

Several airlines with canceled flights are shown on a departures board at JFK airport’s Terminal 1, Friday, March 13, 2020, in New York.

Zhili Sun, practices tai chi under a blooming cherry tree while wearing a mask, Sunday, March 15, 2020, along the tidal basin in Washington.

Souvenir vendor Julio Saavedra wears rubber gloves and a face mask as he works adjacent to the Charging Bull statue, in New York, Sunday, March 15, 2020.

A voter wearing a mask to protect from the new coronavirus casts a vote at a voting center in the French-Italian border city of Menton, southern France, Sunday, March 15, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. France pressed ahead with plans for nationwide municipal elections on Sunday but ordered special measures to keep people at a safe distance and to sanitize surfaces.

Two women wear face masks as they walk along a main street in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that schools, universities, restaurants and places of entertainment will be closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. He also encouraged people not to go to their workplaces unless absolutely necessary.

People wear protective masks and gloves while voting in the municipal elections held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Municipal elections took place on Feb. 16 but were cancelled midway and reprogrammed for Sunday due to a technical glitch.

A woman wearing a face mask shops at a store in Bamland shopping mall, in Western Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Many people in Tehran shrugged off warnings over the new coronavirus as authorities complained that most people in the capital are not treating the crisis seriously enough.

A woman covers her face with a Brazilian flag during rally supporting Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Thousands took to the streets on Sunday to demonstrate in favor of Bolsonaro, challenging in some states the ban on agglomerations due to coronavirus and ignoring his suggestion to postpone the acts.

(1/90)
People wearing face-masks line up to buy supplies from a shop during the coronavirus outbreak in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 4, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
coronavirus, COVID-19
Customers keep distances between each other to avoid a infection with the coronavirus as they visit the market on the cathedral square in Mainz, Germany, April 4, 2020.  For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a woman walks through a lightly trafficked Times Square in New York, March 16, 2020. As of Sunday, nearly 2,000 people with the virus have been hospitalized in the state of New York and 114 have died, officials said. More than 15,000 have tested positive statewide, including 9,000 in New York City. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Coffins with the bodies of victims of coronavirus are stored waiting for burial or cremation at the Collserola morgue in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man wearing a face mask and gloves to protect against the new coronavirus carries his shopping as he walks past closed shops at the Tajrish traditional bazaar in northern Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 4, 2020. In the first working day after Iranian New Year holidays authorities have allowed some government offices and businesses to re-open with limited working hours, when schools, universities, and many businesses still are ordered to be closed aimed to prevent the spread of the virus.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
People from an apartment complex board an ambulance to be taken to a hospital for quarantine after a contact was found to be COVID-19 positive, in Gauhati, India, Saturday, April 4, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
A giant television over the A57 Motorway screen urges people to stay home on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, England. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work.
The Ministry of antiquities lights up the pyramids in an expression of support for health workers battling the coronavirus outbreak, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Giza, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Subway riders wear protective masks and gloves on a sparsely populated car during morning hours due to COVID-19 concerns that are driving down ridership, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tightened work-from-home rules Thursday as confirmed cases continued to climb in New York, an expected jump as testing becomes more widespread. But he stressed that roadblocks and martial law for New York City were merely rumors.
A couple walks along a usually busy Fremont Street after casinos were ordered to shut down due to the coronavirus  outbreak, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Las Vegas.
A woman rests on the balcony of a building as people stay in their houses to prevent the spread of coronavirus,, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Spain will mobilize 200 billion euros or the equivalent to one fifth of the country's annual output in loans, credit guarantees and subsidies for workers and vulnerable citizens, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Tuesday. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.
A masked couple walks on the empty Trocadero next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron said that starting on Tuesday, people would be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Erin Carroll, Clay Colehouse, Jessica Goblin, Travis Victorio, Mary Fitzell
Maryland free student meals

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