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DC mayor suspends high school sports, restricts activities at parks amid surge in COVID-19 cases

DC mayor suspends high school sports, restricts activities at parks amid surge in COVID-19 cases
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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserOvernight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers Bipartisan Senate bill introduced to give gyms B in relief Maryland to lift remaining COVID capacity restrictions MORE (D) announced a new set of coronavirus-related restrictions for city residents on Monday, citing rising case numbers in both D.C. and the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

At a press conference, Bowser said that beginning Friday all local amateur and youth sports leagues would be prohibited from hosting matches for sports considered "high contact," including wrestling, soccer and lacrosse. Individual leagues and teams will still be allowed to host practices, provided that no actual contact between persons occurs at those events.

All public school sports activities, including competitions, are suspended under the new restrictions, the mayor continued, while gym classes in D.C. public schools will be restricted from participating in activities in which students are within 6 feet of one another for the time being.

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The District's Department of Parks and Recreation will also temporarily cease issuing permits for sports practices and activities, according to the order.

Bowser's latest order comes as the nation's capital and its surrounding suburbs have seen the highest rates of new coronavirus infections since the pandemic began in recent days; more than 6,300 new cases were reported on Monday across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., according to The Washington Post.

Local officials have continued to allow indoor dining at strictly limited capacity while urging federal workers and others employed in the District to telework until the pandemic is over, measures that have seen a notable reduction in commuter traffic in the D.C. area over the past year.