- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) closed Tuesday all facilities including playgrounds, parks and dog parks, athletic fields and courts, to promote social distancing and help enforce the District’s stay-at-home order.

The DPR facilities are closed until further notice, according to a social media post.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the region has recorded 54 deaths and over 3,400 positive cases of COVID-19, with 495 in the District, 1,250 in Virginia and 1,660 in Maryland.

The District has 121 cases and Maryland 43 cases that are in recovery, the Virginia Department of Health did not “have that information to share at this time.”

Many across the region are working from home, however many are out of work as businesses across are forced to close to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Maryland, Virginia and the District have all banned mass gatherings of 10 or more and are under stay-at-home orders, meaning residents who leave their homes for reasons other than, food and supply shopping, obtaining medical care, performing essential work, or approved recreational activities like walking, hiking or biking, could face fines and jail time.

Violating the stay-at-home order in Maryland can cost up to $5,000 in fines and a year of jail time; in the District, it can cost up to $5,000 and 90 days in jail; and in Virginia it can cost $2,500 in fines and a year in jail.

In the District, the public health emergency, the stay-at-home order and closures of businesses and schools is slated to last until April 24. However, the D.C. Board of Elections asked that everyone vote by mail for the June elections.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan postponed the April 28 primary and schools are to be closed at least through April 24, but the stay-at-home order and the closure of non-essential businesses is indefinite.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered the closure of schools until the end of the academic year and ordered the closure of the non-essential businesses until April 23. Mr. Northam’s stay-at-home order lasts until June 10.

• Sophie Kaplan can be reached at skaplan@washingtontimes.com.

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