DC mayor issues order requiring masks outside home

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) issued an executive order Wednesday requiring residents to wear masks outside of the home as the city battles rising coronavirus cases.

"Basically what it says is, if you leave home, you should wear a mask," Bowser said at a press conference. “This means, if you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask. If you are ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.”

The order, which allows for fines of up $1,000 per violation, won't be enforced on children under the age of 3 and people who are actively eating or drinking.

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The mayor also said she will extend the District’s state of emergency.

The nation's capital has been experiencing a spike in cases as it moves toward reopening its economy. D.C., Maryland and Virginia all reported their highest COVID-19 case counts since early June on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the District reported 102 new coronavirus cases — the most added in a single day since June 4, bringing its total cases to 11,529.

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D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said that two-thirds of new coronavirus cases in July involve people under the age of 40 and that many patients likely got the virus while traveling. 

Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young (D) on Wednesday ordered restaurants to suspend indoor dining by the end of the week and announced expanded requirements for face coverings.

On Tuesday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that people in his county, which is adjacent to but does not encompass the city of Baltimore, will be required to wear a mask in public settings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance last week urging universal mask wearing.

—Updated at 2:50 p.m.