Mayor of DC Threatens Jail Time for Residents Ignoring Stay-At-Home Orders

A critical time has arrived here in the United States.  We are merely days away from the horrid peak of a viral crisis, with perhaps another month of social distancing still to come.

This pseudo-isolation is the only weapon that we have against COVID-19 thus far, and government large and small are imploring their constituents to heed the warnings.  For cities, this will be particularly crucial, as the virus is likely to thrive in places where the population is dense and mobile.

For Washington DC, this means threatening Americans with jail time should they disregard the guidelines put forth by the city.

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Mayor Muriel Bowser is threatening residents of Washington, DC, with 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine if they leave their homes during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The threat of jail is alarming residents and civil libertarians who point out that at least five inmates tested positive for COVID-19 in the city’s 1,700-inmate jail near Capitol Hill.

“Our message remains the same: stay home,” Bowser, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. The stay-home order has exceptions for grocery shopping and work deemed essential. Outdoor recreation such as running is allowed, but cannot involve people outside of a household.

The order is similar to dictates in neighboring Maryland and Virginia, but shocked residents of Washington, where there are just 401 of the nation’s 160,000 confirmed cases.

President Trump and his panel of experts seem to be in agreement that the peak of the madness could come within two weeks, and have extended the national social distancing guidelines to remain in effect until April 30th.

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