Posted by Elissa Silverman on May 28, 2020 at 4:07 PM
Yesterday, Mayor Bowser announced that she issued a mayoral order to begin Phase 1 of #ReOpenDC tomorrow, May 29.
What does this mean? Some nonessential businesses such as barbers and hair salons can serve customers by appointment only, and restaurants will be allowed to serve diners in a limited capacity in outdoor seating only. As well, residents will be able to use our public parks and some other public amenities. Gatherings of under 10 people are now permissible, so if you feel comfortable you can host non-household family and friends for a dinner party or gathering in your home. You can get more specifics by reading the reopening order.
While we need to start moving into recovery and resumption of economic activity, I remain concerned about the public health threat to our city. We have experienced 453 deaths of DC residents from coronavirus, and COVID-19 remains in our community. These are difficult decisions, and we need to make sure they are rooted in the best known practices of public health and accurate data. Like some of you, I have struggled to understand both the selection and calculation of the administration’s metrics governing how and when to reopen.
I want to make a few reminders. Even though we will enter Phase 2 of reopening, social distancing is still extremely important. Although masks are only required in certain public settings such as supermarkets and public transportation, I strongly urge you to wear a mask when you are outside your home. And please continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands and staying home if you feel sick. If you think you might have contracted COVID-19, please get tested and information on how to do that is below.
We continue to be in a public health emergency, but life does go on! Here are a few big-ticket ways you can participate and make our city a better place:
- Vote! The deadline to request your absentee ballot has passed, but you can still vote safely by voting early at any of the District’s 20 Voting Centers! And if you did request and receive an absentee ballot, remember to mail it in by June 2! Please let me know if you requested a ballot and never received one.
- Participate in Discussions on Next Year’s Budget! Budget hearings are continuing, including for my Committee on Labor & Workforce Development! Scroll down to our budget section for more details, or click here for a full schedule of hearings.
- Get involved with #ReOpenDC! The #ReOpenDC Committee released their first set of recommendations last week, but this process is still ongoing! Please reach out to my office, to other Council member offices, and to the mayor to share any thoughts or recommendations you have about how we can reopen safely and equitably.
Yesterday I asked the Bowser administration how we will determine whether to move to Phase 1. I was told those metrics are yet to be decided. Bottom line is that we need to safeguard the public’s health and protect our workers and residents. If you have questions, thoughts, or recommendations regarding our reopening, please feel free to contact my office any time.
Stay safe and stay well, DC.