COVID-19 September 14, 2020
Phase Three Partial Opening: Beginning Saturday, September 19 at 8 am!
Lots of cashless options for day passers at the front gate.
NOTE new permanent rule: The use or entry of wheeled devices, including but not limited to bikes, scooters (motorized or non-motorized), or self-balancing personal transporters, are strictly prohibited in the Cemetery. Individuals who have medical limitations and/or child/baby carriers are exempt from this prohibition.
The cemetery will be open to K9 members and day passers during this phase, everyday between 8 am and 8 pm, Tuesday to Sunday with the exception of Saturdays from 11 am to 3pm. The Cemetery will be closed at that time for family grave side visits. Please remember masks are mandatory at the gate, and the rules outlined below are still in effect. We hope to include earlier hours in our next phase. Also keep an eye on your alerts for any funeral closures.
And, thank you for doing your part in social distancing and allowing us to move to Phase Three!
The Board, K9 Committee, and staff of Historic Congressional Cemetery have been engaged in a thorough discussion to establish a safe and phased reopening of the Cemetery for staff, K9 Corps members, and other visitors. Several restrictions and rule changes will apply as we reopen, so please read this carefully.
We acknowledge the multiple constituencies in the HCC community and want to assure you that we are making every effort to broaden access prudently.
Above all, we remind K9 Corps members that the health and safety of our entire community are the highest priorities, and we ask that members be patient with one another and staff as the cemetery figures out the best way to operate in a COVID-19 world. While the cemetery is reopening that does not mean the virus has disappeared, so we will strictly operate under the DC Department of Health’s Guidance for Parks and Open Spaces.
The Cemetery will be closed on Mondays. The Cemetery will also be closed to dogs on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm for family grave site visits.
No public visitors will be allowed until further notice with the exception of those that have relatives buried here (by appointment).
Each evening, a 15-minute warning bell will be sounded before the cemetery closes. All gates will be locked at precisely 8 pm, so plan your walk accordingly. We ask you to be particularly cognizant of time for your safety and for the safety and benefit of our gate checkers.
Gate checkers will ask for names and tag numbers for the entire 12-hour period we are open everyday.
Please maintain social distancing with the gate checkers and have your dog on leash at the gate area. Please be courteous to them and understand that they have been instructed to verify the membership of all individuals entering the cemetery.
Please walk your dog only with immediate family members and maintain social distancing.
For those with children, please ensure that they remain close to you and to respect social distancing restrictions with other members. Also, do not allow them to run around or in any way risk damage to headstones. Any violations to this restriction may lead the Cemetery to restrict access to the Cemetery to adults only during the phased reopening, so we ask you to be vigilant not only for yourself but for all K9 Corps members with children.
No bikes, scooters, or other wheeled items (such as skateboards, roller skates, hover boards, wagons, etc) will be allowed in the cemetery. The only wheeled items allowed are strollers and equipment for those with physical limitations.
Masks are mandatory when passing in and out of the main gate and we are following the Guidelines of the Government of the District of Columbia which state “people must still wear face coverings in public, practice social distancing, and practice good hygiene.”
As previously notified:
During this closure, HCC will remain open to
(1) burial services, with restrictions;
(2) necessary maintenance services (to include Adopt a Plot program participants);
(3) site visits by family members during business hours by appointment only and Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.
Cemetery Office: The HCC administrative office is closed as our staff works remotely during this extraordinary public health crisis. Families and clients can contact us by phone at 202-543-0539, where we will be monitoring messages or can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with essential business activities. We are providing limited burial services only at this time with less than ten individuals allowed for burials.
Site Sales: Our staff is available, by appointment, to assist families with the purchase of burial space if a death has occurred or is imminent. Until further notice, we will not be scheduling pre-need sales appointments.
Burial Services: We will continue to perform limited burial services as needed.
Memorial Services: We have suspended the use of the chapel and other spaces at HCC for memorial services until further notice.
Public Programs: All public programs and tours are canceled or postponed until further notice. Docents are conducting live tours on Facebook Saturdays at 11 am, and tours to ten people or less on Sunday at 1 p.m. Advanced registration is required.
The HCC team will continue to update social media with announcements about any further changes to our daily operations.
Congressional Cemetery is a 35 acre historic yet active burial ground located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Initially known as the Washington Parish Burial Ground, Congressional became the first truly national burial ground as Congress bought sites, buried noted civil servants, and funded the infrastructure.
Among the nearly 70,000 burials at Congressional are scores of noteworthy citizens who left their mark on the city and the nation. Sites are still available for sale to anyone that may be interested in joining these intriguing individuals. Find out more about their amazing stories by exploring the Cemetery’s web site or joining a free Saturday tour April through October at 11:00 AM.
The Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that operates all aspects of the cemetery according to a long term lease with the property owner, Christ Church Washington Parish. Please join the Association and help launch its third century of service to the Nation’s Capital.
The cemetery is open from dawn to dusk daily. The business office is open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.