D.C. Mum on Ginsburg Crowds, Strict Virus Limits for Private Services
Hundreds, if not thousands of people flocked to the United State Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday for the public viewing of the casket of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. While Mayor Muriel Bowser has strict guidelines for private funerals and memorials, D.C. officials did not respond to requests from Breitbart News about what coronavirus protocol was put in place for the Bader Ginsburg public event.
Although large numbers of people lined up for hours to take part in the event, no social distancing was enforced, and D.C. police only worked to keep people off the street and from entering areas around the court that were blocked off with metal barriers and crime scene tape.
According to the district’s website, private funerals are required to follow protocols to stop the spread of the virus. The guidance is dated March 24, 2020:
To stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order: Prohibition on Mass Gatherings during Public Health Emergency – coronavirus (COVID-19). Below is guidance for funerals, memorials, vigils, and funeral homes until further notice.
Families and clergy should limit the amount of people gathered for funeral, memorial, and vigil services to less than the posted guidelines issued by the DC Department of Health (DC Health), with social distancing best practices implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For example, distance chairs at least six feet apart, create six feet of distance between each other while sitting in a pew, and avoid handshakes and hugging.
Mortuary and funeral home workers should always follow existing guidelines for safe work practices (e.g. biosafety guidance). When handling human remains with known or suspected COVID-19 infection, workers must be protected from exposure to infected blood and body fluids or to contaminated objects and surfaces.
Huge crowds showed up at the U.S. Supreme Court this week to attend the public viewing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)
On Monday, the District issued a press release announcing that people traveling from any of 31 U.S. states should quarantine for 14 days:
Today, DC Health released an updated list of high-risk states where the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons. Mayor Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-081 with requirements for all people traveling into Washington, DC from high-risk states.
Anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District. Individuals traveling from high-risk states after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs or experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing.
This list should be used until Monday, October 5. States that were added to the updated list include: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, West Virginia, and Wyoming. States that were removed from the updated list include: California, Hawaii, and Ohio.
High-risk states that require 14 days of self-quarantine:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Crowds filled the sidewalks around the U.S. Supreme Court this week for the public viewing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)
The press release said that people traveling to and from Maryland and Virginia to the District are exempt from the order.
It is not clear if the quarantine applies to people who came from other states for the Bader Ginsburg event.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter