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Limiting Sidewalk Gatherings to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus

Pedestrians in Arlington County, Virginia can be fined for gathering on sidewalks in groups larger than three.
August 7, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Arlington County, Virginia
A Clarendon sidewalk scene in the before times.
Rob Crandall

While many cities have expanded the capacity of restaurants and retail businesses to operate in the public realm on sidewalks, streets, and parking spaces, Arlington County, Virginia is trying to limit the size of crowds on sidewalks. 

The Arlington County Board recently approved "an emergency ordinance banning groups larger than three from congregating on streets and sidewalks when there are posted restrictions," reports Hannah Schuster. "Pedestrians must stay at least six feet apart in these areas." 

"Anyone who violates the rule could face a fine of up to $100, though enforcement will only begin 'after a period of outreach and education,' and after signs explaining the policy are posted," according to Schuster. 

The county board approved the new law the same night as social media images revealed large crowds of people gathering on a sidewalk in Clarendon, a wealthy neighborhood in the county, as shared by Tom Lynch, NBC Washington reporter, on Twitter.

The news about the new ordinance banning sidewalk gatherings is embedded about halfway through Schuster's coverage of COVID-19 trends in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 2, 2020 in DCist
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