COVID-19 UPDATE December 2, 2020
DC Phase TWO Partial Opening: Effective Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8 a.m.
The Board, K9 Committee, and staff of Historic Congressional Cemetery are engaged in on-going, thorough discussions to establish a safe and phased reopening of the Cemetery for staff, K9 Corps members, and other visitors. Restrictions and rule changes will apply, 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 open, 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.
Masks are mandatory, and the rules outlined below are still in effect. Thank you for doing your part in social distancing.
The Cemetery will be open to K9 Corps members, K9 day passers and loved ones of those buried here from 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday.
The Cemetery will be closed:
— for funerals
— on Mondays
— to dogs Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for family grave site visits
Text ‘DOG’ to 97063 for closure notifications.
No public visitors will be allowed.
Rules for Visiting:
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.
Gate checkers will ask for names and tag numbers for the entire 12-hour period we are open every day.
Each evening, a 15-minute warning bell will be sounded before the Cemetery closes. All gates will be locked at precisely 8 p.m., 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.
Please walk your dog only with immediate household and maintain social distancing from others not in your household.
For those with children, please ensure that they remain close to you and to respect social distancing restrictions with other visitors. Do not allow them to run around, climb on or in any way risk damage to headstones. Any violations may lead the Cemetery restricting access, so we ask you to be vigilant not only for yourself but for all K9 Corps members with children.
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.
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.”
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.
Site Sales: Our staff is available, by appointment, to assist families over the phone with the purchase of burial space if a death has occurred or is imminent.
Burial Services: We are providing limited burial services only at this time with less than twenty individuals allowed for burials.
Facilities: We are allowing limited use of the chapel and other spaces at HCC for memorial services or other commemorations with limited attendance.
Public Programs: Docent-led tours will resume in April for ten people or less on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 1 p.m. Advanced registration is required.