DC Mayor Bowser doesn’t expect arrests as District prepares for coronavirus stay-at-home order

D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser said she doesn't expect the District to have to make arrests or issue fines amid the stay-at-home order during the city's response to the coronavirus outbreak but said those options are at her disposable if needed. "The point is not to arrest anybody, the point is for people to stay at home," she said Tuesday at a press conference. Bowser said police officers will use a script played through their loudspeakers to disperse large groups and gartherings while reminding them to practice social distancing.

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"The only reasons you should be leaving your home are the following: obtain medical care, food and essential household goods, perform an essential government function, work at an essential job, engage in essential travel or to exercise according to guidelines," Bowser said.

The stay-at-home order goes into effect at midnight.

The mayor and other officials also said Tuesday that the District is working to get local health providers and first responders personal protective supplies such as sanitizer and medical masks.

Bowser said 14 members of the fire department and six members of the police department have tested positive for the coronavirus. The District will begin providing updates to coronavirus cases each morning rather than at night, Bowser said, in order to provide a more complete picture of the previous day. The data will be sorted by age, sex and ward. As of Tuesday morning, there are 495 confirmed cases and nine deaths due to COVID-19 in the District.

The order will remain in place through April 24.