At least 102,000 people in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are asking for help as coronavirus hits the economy hard.
Last week, 102,240 in the area applied for unemployment benefits, Department of Labor data for the week ending Saturday, March 21 says.
Maryland had almost 42,000 applications, which is 17 times more than the prior week. Virginia had almost 47,0000 applications, which is 10 times more than the prior week.
D.C. had more than 13,000 applications, the federal data shows. That’s 11 times more than the prior week. The mayor said Wednesday that the District had received more than 20,000 unemployment claims in the past two weeks. That’s half of what D.C. usually gets in an entire year.
Maryland resident Donnie Leonard, a single father of three, was recently laid off from his job with an aviation company at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. He filed for unemployment Thursday and said he had enough money for about another week.
“It’s a struggle trying to figure out where and how I’m about to help feed my family and take care of the bills,” he told News4’s Cory Smith.
Here’s where we are Friday in the D.C. area.
A teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, died of the virus, officials announced. Susan Rokus taught generations of children, a principal who was close with her said.
“Her legacy in Loudoun is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Metro is making even more cuts to service and moving to a “lifeline schedule” starting Saturday. Go here for details.
Citing coronavirus, Street Sense Media suspended the print publication of its newspaper, which aims to challenge perceptions of homelessness. CEO Brian Carome asked readers and supporters to send payments directly to vendors.
“For many of our vendors, selling Street Sense is their only source of income,” Carome wrote.
Nationally, most Americans may be heeding the call to practice social distancing. Nine out of 10 people contacted in a Washington Post-ABC News poll said they were staying home as much as possible. About 8 in 10 said they were washing their hands more often.
A group that tracks racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans has received reports of more than 650 incidents linked to coronavirus since mid-March. In one instance, a Korean-American woman was in a grocery store with her child when another shopper said she couldn’t be in the same checkout line as them.
Internationally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus. He remains in charge of the United Kingdom’s response to the outbreak.
D.C.’s mayor is set to address the public at 11 a.m. Virginia’s governor is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. A White House press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. You can watch them all live on NBCWashington.com or in the NBC Washington app.
Something to put a little spring in your step: A photographer from Leesburg, Virginia, is taking free portraits of Northern Virginia families standing on the porch, News4's Aimee Cho reported. Social distancing may be doing us some good, Natriya Rampey said.
“We’re needing to slow down and really get to know each other again, and getting the chance to be with each other,” she said.