Mayor Bowser Issues New Mayor’s Order on Masks, Extends Public Health Emergency

July 22, 2020


(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-080 to clarify and extend requirements related to wearing masks indoors and outdoors in Washington, DC. Additionally, the Mayor issued Mayor’s Order 2020-079 to extend the state of emergency and public health emergency for Washington, DC through October 9, 2020. (Subsequently extended through March 17th, 2021 - read the updated order here)


Both Mayor’s Orders are effective immediately.


Under the new Mayor’s Order on masks, people must wear a mask when they leave their homes if they are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a fleeting moment. Exceptions are listed in the Mayor’s Order, and common exceptions include: children under the age of three; a person who is in an enclosed office that no one else is allowed to enter; a person who is actively eating or drinking; and a person who is engaged in vigorous outdoor exercise and is maintaining social distance of at least six feet from other people. The full Mayor’s Order on masks can be found at


For more information on the District’s response, visit




DC Phase 2 began July 22nd, 2020. The authorization of Phase Two is based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) evaluation of certain gated criteria. These are consistent with criteria recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DOH’s determination that the District has met applicable metrics that enable us to reduce certain restrictions on businesses, government operations, services, and activities.

For more information about Phase 2 please visit,


The Small Business Administration (SBA) released a toolkit offering guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to Coronavirus. They also offer the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program that provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Read about the Three Step Process! Also, check out their Emergency Preparedness Guidance. Read a letter from DSLBD Director Whitfield about these programs here


The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies. Find information on their website about the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act and how they affect your business now. 


The U.S. Chamber is working to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.


On March 17, 2020, The DC Council has approved the “COVID-19 RESPONSE EMERGENCY AMENDMENT ACT OF 2020.”
This Emergency Act includes the following provisions that are most applicable to businesses:  

  • Extends employment protections under DC Family Medical Leave Act.

  • Extends the March 31 real property tax for hotels to June 30, 2020 and allows other businesses to defer February and March sales taxes to July 20, 2020.

  • Creates small business grant program, including grants to non-profits and independent contractors (if they do not qualify for Unemployment Insurance).

  • Allows for pick up or delivery of beer and wine (in a sealed container) to be consumed in the home from a restaurant if ordered with food. Email us at to tell us about your operating status

  • Extends time for filing of biennial corporate filing.

  • Provides DISB flexibility for health insurance and matters regulated by DISB.

  • Extends public benefit programs such as Alliance, TANF, and SNAP.

  • Limits price gouging and stockpiling.

  • Prohibits utility companies from shutting off service.

Stay up to date on the measures the District is implementing on their specialty site,


GET CREATIVE! Could your restaurant offer delivery of raw ingredient packages (Blue Apron style) with recipe instructions for your more popular dishes? 

✓ Use time wisely! If you are going to have down-time, make the most of it! Now could be an excellent opportunity to take inventory, cross train staff, re-arrange your products, or analyze sales numbers from the past few years and identify the best products for when you re-open. 

✓ If your business is staying open, publish commitment to public health and outline actions for ensuring a clean facility and healthy staff; have hand sanitizer available for customers and latex gloves available for employees

✓ Offer digital gift cards that customers and patrons can buy now and use later

✓ Start, maintain, and enhance business webpages, online shopping opportunities, and social media presence

✓ Keep customers updated on new experiences or products you'll offer when conditions improve

✓ Develop customer membership programs, such as “subscribe and save” on delivery or pickup of coffee beans, fresh produce, etc.

✓ Develop online shopping list services. For example, many grocery stores offer grocery pickup or delivery to customers who submit shopping lists online.

✓ Offer digital services and support to virtually sell, answer questions, and provide customer service

✓ Keep it lively! Offer trivia nights via livestream and provide virtual tours of your shop