Bowser Extends COVID Emergency Through May 15, Urges Mail-In Voting and Census

UPDATED April 16.

Mayor Muriel Bowser urged D.C. citizens on April 16 to use mail-in election ballots for the June 2 primary elections and beyond — as well as to fill out the forms for the 2020 U.S. Census, now with an Oct. 31 deadline.

On April 15, Bowser announced that the state of emergency and public health emergency for Washington, D.C., would be extended through May 15, as the District continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The mayor extended the emergencies and issued new health and safety requirements in an effort to protect vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The new order clarifies that face masks are required for:

  • hotel workers, guests and visitors;
  • individuals using taxis, ride shares and private transportation providers; and
  • workers and customers of food sellers.

In addition, masks are strongly encouraged for workers and individuals using public transit.

Individuals living, working and visiting Washington, D.C., should continue to stay at home, only leaving for essential purposes. If leaving their residence, all individuals must continue to social distance from others not in their household and should wear face coverings if visiting essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

The order notes that masks are not a replacement for social distancing.

Nonessential businesses remain closed and D.C. students will continue to learn at home.

The mayor’s order can be found here. For more information on the District’s response, visit


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