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Major D.C. Events Canceled As Mayor Declares State Of Emergency For Coronavirus

Mayor Muriel Bowser speaking at the New Year New Housing event Jan. 17., 2020

The number of coronavirus cases in D.C. continued to grow Wednesday as several large events were canceled that could have major implications for the area's economy. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser Wednesday afternoon declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency, giving her more authority to take measures to address the outbreak.

The declarations allow Bowser's administration to request federal disaster assistance, to mandate medical quarantines for people with probable cause of infection and to make price-gouging illegal, Bowser said during a press conference. The District identified six new cases as of Wednesday, bringing the total in the city to 10, D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt said.

"Those additional cases indicate to us, because of the nature of the new individuals that have been identified, that we have person-to-person transmission occurring in the District of Columbia," Nesbitt said.

Bowser's administration also recommended the cancellation or postponement of nonessential mass gatherings of more than 1,000 people through March 31. D.C. announced it is pulling permits for the Rock and Roll DC Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K and the Scope It Out 5K, both scheduled for March.

Events D.C. announced its operations, including events at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, would be suspended until the end of the month.

Entertainment company I.M.P announced the postponement of all events it has scheduled at The Anthem, 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre and U Street Music Hall from Thursday through March 31.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival announced the cancellation of its first four events, the Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, Blossom Kite Festival and live performances at the Tidal Basin, the Washington Business Journal reported. The festival did not announce the status of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, scheduled for April 4. 

Monumental Sports, which owns the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, announced Wednesday its upcoming games will proceed as planned, the Washington Post reported. This came as the NCAA announced the men's and women's basketball tournament games will be played without fans in attendance.