Florida beaches crowded with college students earlier this week alarmed health officials, but there's a new threat closer to home: people collecting on the shores of the Tidal Basin to get a look at the cherry blossoms during peak bloom.
On Saturday, National Park Service staff announced they were closing the limited parking left in the area.
"As crowds increase at the Tidal Basin, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain effective social distancing and keep an appropriate space from other visitors," according to an NPS statement on social media.
D.C. Metropolitan police announced several road closures Sunday. The Memorial Bridge, Lincoln Memorial Circle, the Potomac River Freeway, portions of Rock Creek Parkway and other roads in the area are closed, and emergency "no parking" signs have also been placed in the area.
Metro had announced earlier in the week that two stations in the area of the Tidal Basin would be closed to prevent crowds.
The NPS said additional parking closures may be necessary Sunday, noting it's everyone's responsibility to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
"We strongly urge anyone considering a visit to see the cherry blossoms to reconsider and to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases," the statement noted.