Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday extended the social distancing period for the U.S. capital from March 31 to April 27 due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
As a result, schools in Washington D.C. will now be closed until at least April 24, while nonessential government workers will continue to telecommute and the ban on large gatherings will remain in place, according to a report by The Hill.
Bowser urged local residents to "stay home" this weekend and go outside only for an "essential" task such as buying groceries.
The annual cherry blossom festival, which usually attracts tens of thousands of tourists from around the world, was scheduled to open Friday and last until April 12, but its opening ceremony, parade and other events have all been cancelled or postponed. A live cam is available for people to view the cherry blossom trees in real-time.
The nation's capital reported its first coronavirus-related death earlier in the day.
On Thursday, Washington D.C. reported 32 new cases of the virus, bringing its total to 71.