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Arlington County Adopts Ordinance to Enforce Social Distancing, Limit Gatherings on Sidewalks

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 3 days ago Brianna Crummy
a group of people on a street corner © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

Residents in Arlington County can now face up to a $100 fine if they are caught congregating on streets and sidewalks in groups of more than three people.

The Arlington County Board adopted an emergency ordinance Friday prohibiting groups from gathering on city streets. They cited difficulties with "voluntary compliance" of social distancing orders.

“While most Arlingtonians are adhering to requirements to wear masks and maintain social distancing, unfortunately, some are not,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release. “They are putting themselves and our community at risk of serious illness or death during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board voted unanimously for the amendment. They said enforcement will begin after outreach and education is done through signs and postings.

The action was taken under Gov. Ralph Northam's state emergency declared for the coronavirus pandemic.

A public hearing will be held next month before voting on whether to make the emergency amendment permanent.

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