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Mayor issues stay-at-home order for Washington, DC, residents under threat of $5,000 fine and jail time


Mayor Bowser said one of her staffers has succumbed to the virus

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an order on Monday for residents to stay at home or face a $5,000 fine and jail time.

The order is one of the more extreme measures taken by local governments to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"Today, due to an increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in DC and across the region and the nation, I've issued a stay-at-home order for the District of Columbia," said the mayor in a statement posted to Twitter.

"Our message remains the same: stay home. Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community from COVID-19. Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how – by staying home," she added.

Bowser went on to say that residents could leave their homes to complete only essential activities. Then she laid out the punishment for those caught outside their homes without such a purpose.

"Any individual who willfully violates the order may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both," she said.

On Friday, Bowser admitted that one of her staff members had contracted the coronavirus and subsequently died.

There are more than 400 people in D.C. who have tested positive for the virus that first originated in Wuhan, China.

Here's more about Bowser's order:

DC update: 401 confirmed coronavirus cases and nine deaths

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