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Coronavirus: Washington DC closes all non-essential businesses, orders people to stay home

News Agencies | Updated on: 26 March 2020, 8:28 IST
Washington DC closes

The Washington DC administration has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses until April 24, as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In an advisory on Wednesday night, the city administration also asked the residents to stay in their homes. The capital city of the United States has so far reported 185 confirmed coronavirus cases and two deaths.

"You have a critical role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in DC. Effective at 10 pm tonight (Wednesday), the District of Columbia will close all non-essential businesses through Friday, April 24," the city government said.

"We are depending on you -- be a good neighbour, STAY HOME," it said.

In the order, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser also prohibited the gathering of 10 or more people.

"The intent of the order is to temporarily cease all non-essential business activities, including tour guides and touring services; gyms, health clubs, spas, and massage establishments; theatres, auditoriums, and other places of large gatherings; nightclubs; hair, nail, and tanning salons and barbershops; tattoo parlours; sales not involved in essential services; retail clothing stores; and professional services not devoted to assisting essential business operations," she said.

Bowser also directed an additional USD15 million of the Cash Reserve Fund to be used for the purchase of ventilators, personal protective equipment, testing supplies, medical supplies, and other necessary equipment for DC's response to the coronavirus.

To date, the mayor has directed USD53.15 million to the District's COVID-19 response and recovery.


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First published: 26 March 2020, 8:28 IST