Masks are now mandatory in DC, with minor exceptions


James Wilderotter
 

FYI: Masks are now mandatory in DC, with minor exceptions:

https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/07/22/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-public-in-dc/?fbclid=IwAR15dJ7uVygnaFSBIRRiGPaTvmAZ1wKVbwUoc3jSqwhkTHce5UkMMNTJVqg
[go to https://bit.ly/2OJi8y2 if the long link above is broken during processing]

James


Chuck Stark
 


The Washingtonian article on which this post is based is incorrect. Mayor Bowser's July 22 (today's) order as it applies to wearing a mask outdoors, subject to certain exceptions, says:

"Persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time (underlining added)."
https://coronavirus.dc.gov/maskorder
I'm not sure whether or how this differs from the rule that's been in effect until now, but it's not as restrictive as the Washingtonian article suggested.

-Chuck Stark

- original message -
FYI: Masks are now mandatory in DC, with minor exceptions:
https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/07/22/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-public-in-dc/?fbclid=IwAR15dJ7uVygnaFSBIRRiGPaTvmAZ1wKVbwUoc3jSqwhkTHce5UkMMNTJVqg
[go to https://bit.ly/2OJi8y2 if the long link above is broken during processing]
If I've got this wrong, I look forward to clarification.


Jeremy Kadden
 


Thanks. What is the enforcement mechanism? A fine? 

Jeremy

----
Editor's note: The Washingtonian article cited below did not include information about fines, but The Washington Post reports the following: 
"John Falcicchio, the mayor’s chief of staff, said D.C. police will be empowered to fine people not wearing a mask, although the city expects such fines to be limited."
The full article is here: https://wapo.st/32FRaj0   

- original message - 
FYI: Masks are now mandatory in DC, with minor exceptions:
https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/07/22/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-public-in-dc/?fbclid=IwAR15dJ7uVygnaFSBIRRiGPaTvmAZ1wKVbwUoc3jSqwhkTHce5UkMMNTJVqg
[go to https://bit.ly/2OJi8y2 if the long link above is broken during processing]


Ako & Jeff Schwartz Shigihara
 


WTOP reported there could be a fine up to $1000

WTOP: Mayor Bowser issues new mask order for DC.
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/07/dc-coronavirus-update-july-22/   

Their article also lists all the exceptions which include vigorous exercise if maintaining adequate distance.

Jeff on 28th St NW

- previous message -
Thanks. What is the enforcement mechanism? A fine?  


jlee636
 

Thank you for your clarification.

I actually find this reporter’s characterization of the order to be inaccurate and a cause for confusion in a political atmosphere where specificity is important. I would like to think the Washingtonian would make a correction in order to show its commitment to journalistic integrity and staying above the misinformation that seems to abound.

I’m so glad we live somewhere that mandates masks, but I’m also glad the regulation is reasonable and we are allowed to leave our homes without one, when safe to do so. 😊

Lee Ayres
Nebraska Ave

- previous message -
Thanks. What is the enforcement mechanism? A fine?
----
Editor's note: The Washingtonian article cited below did not include information about fines, but The Washington Post reports the following:
"John Falcicchio, the mayor’s chief of staff, said D.C. police will be empowered to fine people not wearing a mask, although the city expects such fines to be limited."
The full article is here: https://wapo.st/32FRaj0

- original message -
FYI: Masks are now mandatory in DC, with minor exceptions:
https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/07/22/masks-are-now-mandatory-in-public-in-dc/?fbclid=IwAR15dJ7uVygnaFSBIRRiGPaTvmAZ1wKVbwUoc3jSqwhkTHce5UkMMNTJVqg
[go to https://bit.ly/2OJi8y2 if the long link above is broken during processing]


Christopher Backley
 


The best advice to follow what the mayor said:
 
“Basically it says, if you leave home, you should wear a mask,” Bowser said.
 
 
You never know when you might bump into someone else. Just wear a mask. 
 
-Chris

- from previous message -
WTOP: Mayor Bowser issues new mask order for DC.
https://wtop.com/coronavirus/2020/07/dc-coronavirus-update-july-22/   
Their article also lists all the exceptions which include vigorous exercise if maintaining adequate distance.


Burnt Orange
 


Agreed and thank you for the link to the order, Chuck. I had actually been wondering if it was inappropriate to go maskless when out walking my dog. I had also wondered if I was supposed to make a special effort to avoid briefly passing by someone within six feet. My interpretation of the order is that the answer to both of these questions is "no." I'd felt somewhat self-conscious about going maskless outside and infrequently quickly passing someone on the street. Now, I'll feel totally confident that my actions are consistent with city guidelines.

Court

- from previous message -
[snip] Mayor Bowser's July 22 (today's) order as it applies to wearing a mask outdoors, subject to certain exceptions, says:
"Persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time (underlining added)."
https://coronavirus.dc.gov/maskorder
[snip] 


Deborah Linde
 

 
Wear a mask. I do not understand why people continue to try to find reasons not to wear a mask. If you were risking your own health by not wearing a mask. I might possibly be more sympathetic but probably not. I have relatives who are healthcare professionals. I do not want them to have to continue to comfort the grieving relatives of people who died because they were infected by those who refused to wear masks.
 
Dog walking is not a strenuous activity. I have been wearing a mask while I walk my dog for more than four months and my dog and I are still alive.
 
Deborah Linde
Newark St.
 
- from previous message -
[snip] Mayor Bowser's July 22 (today's) order as it applies to wearing a mask outdoors, subject to certain exceptions, says:
"Persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time (underlining added)."


Amber Sparks
 


I read all these “letter of the law” emails with a little sadness; as someone who lives in a building and on a block with many older residents, I would rather be a good neighbor and community member than follow the law to the letter and no more. I always wear a mask while walking outside and I always make a special effort to move away to six feet when passing folks on the sidewalk, and not because the law tells me to - I do these things because I appreciate when others do them, and I know I am doing my small part to make my community feel and be safer. 
 
Everyone can make their own choices within the law; I will always err on the side of making others safer. Why not just wear a mask? And if you don’t, certainly please make an effort to stay six feet away. If you do neither, please know that you are making others in your community feel a little less secure. It’s that simple.

-Amber

- previous message -
Agreed and thank you for the link to the order, Chuck. I had actually been wondering if it was inappropriate to go maskless when out walking my dog. I had also wondered if I was supposed to make a special effort to avoid briefly passing by someone within six feet. My interpretation of the order is that the answer to both of these questions is "no." I'd felt somewhat self-conscious about going maskless outside and infrequently quickly passing someone on the street. Now, I'll feel totally confident that my actions are consistent with city guidelines.   


dana
 


The interpretation of DC’s new mask order (one doesn’t need to wear a mask when walking a dog) is based on the assumption that all encounters with others will be “fleeting” or at a distance of more than six feet. If that reading were correct, the order’s fleeting/six feet exception would swallow the rule. We could always leave the mask at home if we assume that we are not going to encounter anyone in circumstances where a mask would be required. The problem is that we cannot control all encounters with others, so our assumption will be wrong from time to time and we will be in violation of the order. 

 

Please, let’s all take our community responsibilities seriously and put a stop to this pandemic. We protect each other when we wear a mask outside our homes. Wear your mask.

 

Dana

Devonshire Pl


Leila Afzal
 


Mask are mandatory in NY. It is one of the few states that is opening up that is not experiencing the spike in positive COVID tests despite being ground zero only a few months ago. Virginia and Maryland which had controlled the spread of the virus are now experiencing a resurgence of the infection as they open up. They have joined the list of states whose residents are banned from going to NY without a 14 day self-quarantine.
 
I find this discussion very disheartening. We are all part of a community and should be willing to protect each other. Nitpicking on when to wear a mask when you come upon another person is unkind. Just put it on, what harm will it do and could save a life.
 
Leila Afzal
Ordway Street

- previous message - 
The interpretation of DC’s new mask order (one doesn’t need to wear a mask when walking a dog) is based on the assumption that all encounters with others will be “fleeting” or at a distance of more than six feet. If that reading were correct, the order’s fleeting/six feet exception would swallow the rule. We could always leave the mask at home if we assume that we are not going to encounter anyone in circumstances where a mask would be required. The problem is that we cannot control all encounters with others, so our assumption will be wrong from time to time and we will be in violation of the order. 
Please, let’s all take our community responsibilities seriously and put a stop to this pandemic. We protect each other when we wear a mask outside our homes. Wear your mask.


Linnea Warren
 


It would be nice if people spent less time trying to find a way to spare themselves any personal inconvenience and just did two easy things to protect the rest of us – 1. Wear a mask when you leave your home and 2. Stay at least 6 feet away from others.  

Instead of looking for an out, look at the Mayor’s basic message – IT’S SIMPLE.  WHEN YOU LEAVE HOME, WEAR A MASK. 

Note that “wearing a mask” means putting it over your mouth and your nose, not dangling it around your neck or pulling it off to talk on the phone. And six feet is a minimum – if you watch the videos online that show how quickly exhalations spread, and how far, you’ll see why.  

So yes, you should move over when you encounter someone else on a walk, as far as you can. And yes, wear a mask when you’re walking your dog. How hard is that? 

I’m sorry, but attitudes like this are a big reason for the US’s poor performance during this crisis. They certainly make my ventures outside more stressful and discourage me from patronizing local businesses as they slowly reopen.

Make an effort, people. 

Linnea Warren

 

(From Mayor Bowser’s Presentation on DC’s COVID-19 Situational Update on July 22 at https://dc.gov/ )


Linda LaScola
 


It’s fine and within health parameters if you choose to wear a mask walking your dog. It’s also fine and within health parameters not to wear a mask as long as you stay 6 feet away from passersby outdoors.   

I’m out walking a lot in the neighborhood and have not found it difficult at all to avoid people by at least 6 feet - usually more. I always carry a mask when out of my home and put it on before going into a store or in the off chance I find myself in a more crowded situation outside - for instance at the George Floyd candlelight events on Conn. Ave a while back. It’s easy to purposely avoid crowded outdoor situations.  
 
I always give wide berth to dog walkers as I’ve noticed they often veer off or stop according to the dog’s wishes.
 
Linda LaScola
Connecticut Avenue


Tony White
 


I think of myself as a "public spirited" person and a good neighbor. But I also want people to respond rationally to the order and not impose on people beyond what the experts tell us is needed to curb transmission.
 
The key is to keep other people safe. If I take a walk at a time and place where I'm unlikely to come within 15 feet of someone (not just 6 feet), I am not endangering anyone by not wearing a mask. But just in case, it's in my pocket. If I see someone coming my way, I have plenty of time to put it on. If I head in the direction of a commercial area where it's likely there will be other people and it may not be possible to give them wide enough distance, I put it on. 
 
It's not "letter of the law" to recognize that you don't have to wear a mask every single time you step outside. You have to look at the actual mode of transmission. If you are more than 15 feet away from anyone else, you really are fine.
 
-Tony
 
- previous message -

I read all these “letter of the law” emails with a little sadness; as someone who lives in a building and on a block with many older residents, I would rather be a good neighbor and community member than follow the law to the letter and no more. I always wear a mask while walking outside and I always make a special effort to move away to six feet when passing folks on the sidewalk, and not because the law tells me to - I do these things because I appreciate when others do them, and I know I am doing my small part to make my community feel and be safer.


Marshall Derks
 


I think of it this way, you always have a mask when outside. When you are on a non busy street with very little foot traffic, pull it down and breath easy. When passing someone, do so at a distance and pull your mask up. If going to shop somewhere, wear a mask even when outside as there are likely people all around you. In other words, always have a mask.

Marshall Derks 
803-315-4558
2800 Quebec St. NW
Washington, DC 20008

- previous message -
The interpretation of DC’s new mask order (one doesn’t need to wear a mask when walking a dog) is based on the assumption that all encounters with others will be “fleeting” or at a distance of more than six feet. If that reading were correct, the order’s fleeting/six feet exception would swallow the rule. We could always leave the mask at home if we assume that we are not going to encounter anyone in circumstances where a mask would be required. The problem is that we cannot control all encounters with others, so our assumption will be wrong from time to time and we will be in violation of the order. 


Burnt Orange
 


On the contrary, if there is no way to avoid having only fleeting encounters, then the caveat wouldn't be in the order. I take the position that my ability to have no more than fleeting encounters with others within 6 ft is indeed totally within my control. Also, the good news is that it's within the other individual's control as well. It takes not just one person but at least two people for a lingering close encounter to occur. As such, I will be choosing the best option for my health -- to breathe unconstricted while exercising with my dog on a hot and humid day while avoiding more than fleeting encounters with others.

-Court


James Wilderotter
 


“Basically it says, if you leave home, you should wear a mask,” Bowser said.
 
So, if you are walking your dog -- Yes, a mask. You never know what you will run into when you are out walking. Else, you may then have to scramble and put it on when you encounter other people. And as someone walking dogs around here, you always encounter someone else.
 
Should you make an extra effort to keep six foot distance from someone? That is a judgement call. If they have a mask on, the risk is lower. If one or both of you are not wearing a mask, I would advise you DO look to keep some distance.
 
James


Kathleen D McLynn
 

Actually, our neighbors have been making the kind effort to give a wide berth when out walking dogs, strolling, running, etc. by using the devil strip, the street (carefully of course), going to the other side of the street, etc. and I greatly appreciate it. We smile & wave, making it very neighborly. And how can it hurt?

I have asthma and it’s hot, but I still wear a mask and haven’t had to whip out the smelling salts yet :-)

This just out, the mask might protect the wearer, too.

Best,
Kate


Katherine Sciacchitano
 


The order exempts people engaged in vigorous outdoor exercise away from from others.
 
But according to the Washington Post, the mayor believes that the order does in fact include wearing a mask while walking a dog: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/coronavirus-maryland-virginia-dc/2020/07/22/1055de24-cc25-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html
 
Poor (or intentionally ambiguous) wording of the order aside, I do think the extent of control suggested by the email below is overstated. 
 
I can avoid casual conversations. 
 
But I could fall and break a limb. I could be hit by a car crossing with the light, as my boyfriend was this past year. I don’t think those kinds of accidents are within my control.  And if I don’t have a mask on, I’ve just put a Good Samaritan or a first responder at risk. 
 
Or I could see someone who needs immediate assistance and not be able to respond without putting that person at risk. 
 
Again, needless risk to life.  
 
Katherine
Ontario Road 


Christopher Backley
 

In the Washington Post’s coverage of the expanded mask requirements, they even make clear that the Mayor’s intent was that walking a dog is a situation in which one should be wearing a mask, for the public good and safety of us all.
 
“Before publishing her order Wednesday, Bowser said it would require people to wear masks at almost all times outdoors, except during “vigorous exercise.” Even walking a dog alone or waiting for a bus would require a mask, she said.”
 
You can’t guarantee you’ll be able to stay at least six feet away from other people. And we’re still learning more and more about how exactly this virus transmits. So people should just err on the side of safety, decency, and respect for your neighbors — wear a mask!
 
-Chris