On Good Friday, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s daily press conference took on a religious tone when she reminded residents to stay home over the holiday weekend.
Bowser invited two pastors, a priest, an imam, and a rabbi, to speak about the Coronavirus crisis related to Easter this weekend, Passover this week, and Ramadan later this month.
“Sunday, from home, I’m going to celebrate Easter,”
Rev. Thomas Bowen, director of the Mayor’s Religious Affairs Office, said the district did not face the challenge of persuading some states not to gather in large groups during the crisis.
The first case in the district was a bishop priest who, according to Bowen, helped the clergy here take social distancing seriously from the start. He said he was unaware of any church plans to hold Easter services this Sunday that would violate Bowser’s rule of banning gatherings of more than nine people, but encouraged citizens to report any congregation still assembled.
While some states have religious exceptions in their home stay orders, the district does not.
To underline how the virus touched clergymen in the city, the press conference was held at Gonzaga College High School, whose president was infected with the virus in mid-March. He was there on Friday and recovered completely.
“On this Good Friday,” he said, “healthcare workers live,” which in the Christian tradition means accompanying someone with a heavy cross. “
Bowser also spoke about the painful loss of two police sergeants in the past week and the process of reopening farmers’ markets. The Oxon Hill market has been renounced and is open today; The heads of the fish market on Maine Avenue had a phone call to the city this morning and another one this afternoon about the opening while customers were practicing social distancing.
Bowser had previously spoken out against this idea and said it could attract crowds. Friday, she said, she would check it out.
The city has asked the National Park Service if a road in Rock Creek Park, which is normally closed to cars on weekends, can be closed and extended daily, and is also investigating road closures in Anacostia Park and Fort Dupont Park.
Regarding the impact the virus will have on the city’s finances, DC officials are preparing to cut more than $ 600 million from the budget the mayor will present in early May, but have not indicated which areas you want to shorten. The head of the DC Council said the city was unlikely to launch new programs.