D.C. and Maryland have reaffirmed the states of emergency each jurisdiction declared earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
D.C. extended its state of emergency through the end of year, and Maryland renewed its declaration of the COVID-19 state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency.
DC extends state of emergency through Dec. 31
“The spread of COVID-19 remains an imminent threat to the health, safety and welfare of District residents that requires the continued need for declarations of a public emergency and public health emergency,” according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s order on Wednesday.
More than 15,000 D.C. residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, and some 632 have died from it. D.C. is currently in Phase Two of its reopening, which started in June.
There are other items in the latest order:
- Nonessential, nonretail businesses are encouraged to develop plans to safely return staff who are telecommuting to their offices, following guidance from the Department of Health;
- The prohibition of high-contact sports is repealed;
- D.C. agencies are prescribed rules for permitting and use of fields and facilities; and
- Language is removed to allow for the reopening of indoor pools.
The District is also requiring individuals who use public services in D.C. government facilities to provide information, such as a name and phone number, for the purpose of contact tracing.
Recently, the Bowser administration has reached out to the White House following a string of positive coronavirus results from President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, and more than 10 current and former staff, including senior aides Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former adviser Kellyanne Conway.
“Obviously, we’re concerned about the spread of COVID-19 — period. We’re especially concerned with people following scientifically justified protocols to contain the spread of the virus,” Bowser said earlier this week.
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Maryland renews state of emergency declaration
The latest proclamation is the ninth time Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has renewed the declaration of its health emergency that was first ordered on March 5.
Since then, some 128,000 Maryland residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 3,800 have died.
Maryland is currently in Phase Three of its reopening plan.
The order also covered election procedures in the state, reinforcing Hogan’s desire to have many polling places open on Election Day.
These include giving permission for the State Board of Elections to establish voting centers for the use of any eligible voter who wants to vote in person on Nov. 3. A voter may head to a voting center in their county of residence.
Montgomery County officials said they’re ready for voters to cast their ballots in person, and have rolled out changes and coronavirus-related safety measures designed to keep them safe.