D.C. travelers ordered to self-quarantine if they went to high-risk states

D.C. travelers ordered to self-quarantine if they went to
high-risk states 1

D.C. officials are asking that anyone entering the city to self-quarantine if they have engaged in nonessential travel from any of 27 states with a high risk of coronavirus infection.

Under a mayoral order issued last week, incoming travelers as of Monday are required to isolate themselves for 14 days after arriving from a state where the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons.

Currently, those states are: Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

The list of states is effective until Aug. 10 when the D.C. Department of Health will provide an update on Coronavirus.dc.gov. The Health Department will update the list every other Monday.

Maryland and Virginia are exempt from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s order. The order will last through Oct. 9 or until the date to which the state of emergency is extended, whichever is later.

People traveling for essential reasons from high-risk states are asked to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days, and to self-quarantine and seek testing and medical advice if experiencing symptoms.

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Symptoms could include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

According to the mayor’s order, essential reasons for travel include obtaining medical care that cannot be provided virtually, obtaining food and household goods, performing or accessing essential government functions and working at businesses deemed essential.

Other essential purposes include travel to care for older adults, minors, dependents or people with disabilities; to visit a house of worship; to acquire educational institutions for materials for distance learning or receive meals or other related services; to return to a place of residence outside of the District; and travel required by law enforcement or court order.

On Sunday, the District added 78 new positive coronavirus cases to its tally, bringing the total number of infections to 11,858.

The city also reported an additional death. So far, 582 residents have died from COVID-19, according to health data.

The data show a gradual upward trend in community spread since June 22, when the second phase of reopening began.

Currently, the District’s testing data show a positivity rate of 5.6% among residents. The Health Department says the positivity test rate should stay under 10% in order to move to the third phase of reopening.

The data show the last time the positivity rate was just above 10% and in the “red zone” was June 7. Since then, the positivity rate has fluctuated between 2% to 8%.

The District has been in phase two for about a month. Under phase two, residents are required to wear a face covering or mask when outdoors and coming into contact with others outside their households, inside of a business, gym or other public indoor establishment, in common areas of apartments and condos and when taking public transportation or riding in a taxi or ride-hailing.

Many businesses have been allowed to reopen with restrictions. Restaurants can offer outdoor seating or indoor service at a maximum capacity of 50% with tables placed at least 6 feet apart.

Nonessential retailers can provide in-store service but must cap indoor capacity to 50%. Personal services such as nail salons can be booked by appointment only. Gyms and fitness centers can allow only 5 people per 1,000 square feet and must keep showers, steam rooms and locker rooms closed (except to access toilets and restrooms).

On Friday, Miss Bowser and D.C. Public Schools are expected to announce a decision about the upcoming academic year and learning options for students.

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