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Regional Real-Time Updates

March 30, 2020
Dear Operator, 
As you likely know already, there were several announcements made today by leaders within the region. The impact to restaurant operations is very minimal, but we want to help clarify and give you tools to support your operations and employees. 
We also want to address real-time questions that we are hearing from you, Operators, region-wide.
Real-Time Questions From the Day:
Hiring Employees Back - Earlier today we sent an email about a mechanism for operators to receive some funding via the RAMW Worker Relief Fund to be able to hire back some employees (see full email here). Some of you reached out with questions about the safety of bringing employees back to work. To clarify, what we are suggesting is limited to just a few employees, or expanding hours for those you currently still have working in your operations, and still takes into consideration the guidelines mandated by local jurisdictions on social distancing, safe-food handling, and no-contact service methods. While all businesses and communities are aiming to limit interaction as much as possible, restaurants continue to be a needed source of food and meals for communities who do not have other easily-available sources. Your decision to activate as a community kitchen in this way is up to you and will not be for everyone. 
BI Insurance Claim Efforts - Many of you have questions about Business Interruption Insurance Claims. We are absolutely working with our local and national partners to assist with information to guide you. We are talking daily with the National Restaurant Association, who are closely tracking the details of Phase IV of the Congressional relief legislation. It is likely Business Insurance protocol will be part of Phase IV. 
Increasing Safety Protocols - Resources to share with on-premise employees.  
Many of you have asked for visual resources to post on site as part of your heightened protocol. We are gathering those resources from local government agencies to share with our operators.  
This morning, Governor Larry Hogan issued an official “Stay-at-Home-Order” that goes into effect at 8pm tonight. Restaurants are exempt from this order as long as you are doing takeout and/or delivery.  Travel to and from exempted or essential businesses is allowed. This means if you live in Maryland, but work in a restaurant in DC or VA, you are allowed to go to work. Click here for the full order. The 26 previously signed Executive Orders also remain in effect. 
A person who knowingly and willfully violates this Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both. 
Governor Hogan also shared updated small business support opportunities. He has authorized an additional $2 million to the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, bringing this fund to a total of $9 million. Click here to view grants and loans available for Maryland small businesses. So far $8.8 million has already been provided to more than 400 Maryland small businesses for support. 
This afternoon, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia issued an official “Stay-at-Home Order” that goes into effect immediately. Restaurants continue to be allowed to be open for take out and delivery as they are deemed essential. Virginia will continue to enforce the 10 or less rule, and those in violation could be subject to a class one misdemeanor. Non-essential retail may stay open as well, as long as businesses continue to observe social distancing.
Click here for the full Order. 
Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser said anyone—regardless of immigration status—with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) needs to call a health care provider and seek treatment.  First responders will not ask you about your immigration status. Those without a healthcare provider should call Mary’s Center at 844-796-2797. We encourage you to share this information with your current, terminated and furloughed employees.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31st at 6pm is the deadline to apply for a DC Microgrant. Click here to apply.  
Essential Letters for Restaurant Workers
As a reminder, across the region restaurants offering takeout and delivery are deemed essential as they act as important sources of food. Click here for letters you can share with your employees still working regarding their essential status. We recommend they carry these letters with them in transit to and from work. 
We will continue to share up to date information as it becomes available. If you have any questions regarding today’s updates, please email
As always, stay safe. Stay kind. 
Kathy Hollinger | President and CEO
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
1625 K Street NW, Suite 210 | Washington, DC 20006