D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended the city’s indoor dining ban to beyond Inauguration Day.

The ban, part of an order issued by Bowser before Christmas to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, was set to expire Friday, but that and other activities will be prohibited until Jan. 22, the mayor announced late Monday.

Bowser cited “public safety and health reasons” for why she extended the order.

Bowser’s initial order included closing museums and libraries, requiring reservation to swim in a city-managed pool, suspending the D.C. Circulator’s National Mall routes and recommending District workers in nonessential businesses telework as much as possible.

The December announcement of the order said restaurants could continue outdoor dining and offer carryout and delivery to customers.

The extension comes in the wake of last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump protesting his loss in the November election. The incident resulted in five deaths and dozens of injuries and arrests.

At a news conference earlier Monday, Bowser said a request she made to President Trump over the weekend for an emergency declaration in the District ahead of the inauguration was related to last week’s violence, as well as the surging numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The declaration will aid the city as it plans for the inauguration of President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Jan. 20 at the Capitol.

Trump approved the declaration later in the day.

As of Tuesday, D.C. has reported 32,435 coronavirus cases and 825 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the city health department.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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