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VERIFY: Can you drive to the park for a run, go fishing, or visit the accountant under stay-at-home orders?

As states announce official "stay-at-home" orders, the Verify team answers a series of questions about the dos and dont's of these commands.

WASHINGTON — Now that "Stay At Home" orders have been issued across the DMV, the Verify team is breaking down what this actually means. 


The Office of Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland

The Office of Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia

The Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. 

Question 1

Can you go for a run outside? Can you drive to a park to exercise? 

Answer 1: 

Yes. Exercise is deemed an essential activity in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.


It's a question that many viewers have brought up: while social distancing, is it permitted to leave your house for a run or walk? One person took the question a step further in an email to the Verify team. 

"It mentions that you are allowed to exercise," the email read. "Is this only allowed in your neighborhood or can you drive to a walking/biking trail?" 

The Verify team learned that this type of activity is allowed in all three jurisdictions. 

"Travel to a park to exercise would be permitted by the order," a spokesperson for Gov. Hogan said. 

"You can leave your home to engage in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements," a spokesperson for Gov. Northam said. 

A spokesperson for Mayor Bowser also confirmed this detail. 

RELATED: You don't need to buy bottled water during stay-at-home order. Here's why.

Question 2: 

Can you go hunting or fishing? 

Answer 2: 

It depends on the area. In D.C., this is prohibited. In Maryland and Virginia, fishing and hunting is only allowed under specific circumstances. 


A spokesperson for Mayor Bowser said that hunting and fishing is not deemed essential, and so people are encouraged to avoid these activities. 

In Virginia, fishing is allowed with "strict social distancing."

In Maryland, The Department of Natural Resources wrote that hunting and fishing is allowed for sustenance, but not for recreation or sport. 

RELATED: Virginia Stay-At-Home order: Here's why you can and can't leave your house

Question 3: 

Are people allowed to visit their CPA or accountant? 

Answer 3: 

Yes. Leaders across the DMV said that this is permitted, although people are strongly encouraged to wait until the pandemic has passed. 


A viewer contacted the Verify Team  with a question about taxes. 

"I've not heard from any official in the MDV (sic) area if going to the tax man will be legal during the stay at home mandate, or will be subject to a fine or jail time?"

All three jurisdictions have policies allowing visits to accountants and CPAs, since this is considered an essential service. 

Nonetheless, leaders from all three jurisdictions urged people to hold off on visiting these professionals until after the order has been lifted. 

"We really want to urge people to do these types of things remotely," a spokesperson for Gov. Hogan said. "Even if they fall within federal critical sectors, things like this can easily be done without in-person meetings." 

RELATED: Income tax filing deadline moved from April 15 to July 15

 Question 4:

Are you permitted to call the landscaper? 

Answer 4:

Yes. All three jurisdictions allow for landscapers to visit your home, so long as they are social distancing. The service is still discouraged by these leaders. 


"Is there a way to cut the grass during this time," an email from a viewer worried about maintaining their lawn said. 

Officials from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. confirmed that this is allowed, although they emphasized that social distancing will be key. 

Do you have any questions about the Stay-At-Home Order? Send us your questions at Verify@wusa9.com or in the submission form below. 

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