DC mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered anyone outside of their home to wear a mask or face a $1,000 fine.
Washington saw a dramatic increase in the spread of coronavirus when 102 new cases were unveiled on Wednesday.
In response, Mayor Bowser brought in an order to ensure more people wear masks when out in crowded places.
She told reporters at a press conference: ‘Basically what it says is, if you leave home, you should wear a mask.
‘This means, if you’re waiting for a bus, you must have on a mask. If you are ordering food at a restaurant, you must have on a mask. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in an open office, you must have on a mask.’
The order will not affect children under the age of three, and people who are actively eating and drinking can remove their face coverings.
The mayor also said she would extend the district’s state of emergency.
The total number of cases in DC is now at 11,529, with Maryland and Virginia also reporting their highest number of coronavirus cases since early June.
D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt told The Hill, two-thirds of coronavirus cases this month have been caught by people under the age of 40. It is thought most will have picked up the virus while travelling.
Restaurants will have to end indoor dining by the end of the week in Baltimore, county Executive Johnny Olszewski announced on Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance last week urging universal mask wearing.
It comes after President Trump sent out a tweet Monday suggesting people should cover their faces to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
‘We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,’ Trump wrote. ‘There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!’
Trump then included a photo of him wearing a mask from his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier this month.
On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out an updated advisory on coronavirus transmission recommending that Americans wear masks.
‘Well, I just don’t want to wear one myself,’ Trump said at the time.
‘I just don’t want to be doing – I don’t know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind the beautiful Resolute Desk – the great Resolute Desk – I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know.
‘Somehow, don’t see it for myself,’ Trump continued. ‘I just – I just don’t. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass and hopefully it’ll pass very quickly.’
Health officials had originally not wanted to recommend widespread mask-wearing for fear Americans would buy up N95 masks that were desperately needed for healthcare workers and first responders.