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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Events, storefronts closed in D.C. amid COVID-19 pandemic

File Photo by Sabrina Godin | Staff Photographer
Head to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a Lunar New Year celebration Saturday.

As the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to rise, social life outside of your home is mostly off limits to help promote social distancing.

Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency in the District last week, in addition to banning mass gatherings of more than 250. Event organizers, stores and museums have joined in, taking their own steps to mitigate the spread of the virus by postponing or canceling activities.

Here is a rundown of some of the cancellations and closures across the District, as well as their plans moving forward.

Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Visitor Center & Smithsonians

The Arlington National Cemetery is closed to visitors with strict rules in place for funerals, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Tours of the White House and the Capitol Visitor Center are canceled until further notice, and access to the U.S. Capitol has been closed off to tourists until April 1. The Smithsonian Institution shut down its museums and the National Zoo Saturday indefinitely. The Smithsonian Institution said they will provide updates on a weekly basis, according to its website.

D.C. sporting events

Along with the rest of the nation’s sports teams, the NBA’s Washington Wizards’ season is suspended, the NHL’s Washington Capitals’ season is suspended and the MLB’s Washington Nationals’ regular season is delayed by at least two weeks.

The RFK Stadium and fields are closed until April 1. Capital One Arena is closed until further notice.

The Atlantic 10 halted all spring sports’ conference and nonconference matchups and championships, according to an Atlantic 10 release Thursday.

Concert venues

The Kennedy Center canceled all performances and public events through March 31. The restaurants, cafe and other food services inside the center are also closed.

“Kennedy Center programmers are exploring options for rescheduling artists and productions for a future date where possible,” Kennedy Center officials said in a release.

Other concert halls and venues have closed temporarily including, 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall and The Anthem which have canceled shows until April 1, and Black Cat has closed until March 31.

Bars, restaurants, health clubs and movie theaters

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday the District is suspending on-sit bar and restaurant service. The ban took effect at 10 p.m. Monday. The District also shut down health clubs and gyms Tuesday, The Post reported Monday.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also closed restaurants, bars, health clubs and gyms across the state effective 5 p.m. Monday.

Rock n Roll Marathon

The 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and half marathon, originally slated for March 28, has been postponed to the fall and reduced to a half marathon or 5 kilometer race. The new date is currently being finalized with city officials, its the website states.

Stores & shops

Several retail shops have also closed temporarily. Outdoor Voices – an athletic clothing store in Georgetown – announced Sunday that all of their retail shops will be closed through March 27 and all of their community events are postponed until further notice. All scheduled shop teams will be compensated during this period, according to an email sent Sunday.

Reformation on M Street also told customers that all stores will be closed indefinitely. The retail teams will be given paid time off, the company said in the email Saturday.

Whole Foods announced their storefronts will remain open, but they suspended all food sampling, removed all open access to samples in their beauty and body care departments and are no longer allowing personal, reusable containers at smoothie and coffee bars.

Safeway also announced it will stay open, and it is increasing the frequency at which they disinfect the store. Customers are asked to be mindful of the number of hand sanitizers and household cleaners they purchase as grocery stores rush to restock.

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