Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a stay-home order for residents on Monday, with violations punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The District of Columbia had 401 cases of the novel coronavirus as of Monday. The order allows for residents to leave home to grocery shop, exercise outdoors with household members, work in an essential job, or seek medical attention.
The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia said it takes issue with the mayor's threat of imprisonment.
"When we saw this order, we thought, ‘You want to send them where?'" Monica Hopkins, the group's executive director, told the New York Post. "People being arrested for that causes all sorts of problems that are antithetical to the goals of lessening the virus."
Hopkins said the group's position is that violations should be handled on a case-by-case basis by law enforcement officers.