Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Dec. 19

Here's what to know about the coronavirus data, resources and reopenings across the D.C. area

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The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, setting in motion plans to roll out a second coronavirus vaccine.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says data suggests the vaccine seems to reduce asymptomatic infection by 63% after a single shot. The Pfizer shot only prevents symptomatic infections.

That could be key in dramatically slowing the spread of the virus.

D.C. is preparing a slew of new restrictions to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Wednesday, indoor dining will be banned until at least Jan. 15, which would bar restaurants from seating customers over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Large indoor venues like museums and libraries will also be forced to close.

Meanwhile, grocery stores are now exempt from capacity limits, but they've been given a mandate to implement social distancing measures.

What the Data Shows

New coronavirus cases continue to level off in the region, but hospitalizations are trending upward in D.C. and Virginia.

In Virginia, hospitalizations surged to an all-time high, with 2,111 Virginians hospitalized on Saturday. The state reported 2,636 new cases.

D.C. reported 238 new cases and 248 hospitalizations on Saturday.

Maryland reported 2,201 new cases. Hospitalizations are at 1,635 on Saturday, down from an all-time high of 1,799 on Tuesday.

Local Coronavirus Headlines

Reopening Tracker

Although COVID-19 treatments have improved and a vaccine is on the way, even a mild case of the virus can cause long-term complications — including the possibility of erectile dysfunction. Infectious disease expert Dr. Dena Grayson joined LX News with a warning not to let our guards down as we wait for a vaccine.

How to Stay Safe

There are ways to lower your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are guidelines from the CDC:

  • Wear a snug-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth. 
  • Avoid being indoors with people who are not members of your household. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. If you are indoors with people you don’t live with, stay at least six feet apart and keep your mask on. 
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you have been in a public place.
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