Doses of a second COVID-19 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be shipped Sunday as the coronavirus continues to spread in the D.C. area and nationally.
Factory workers in the Memphis area boxed up shots Sunday morning developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health. The much-needed shots are expected to be given starting Monday, just three days after the FDA authorized their emergency rollout.
Public health experts say the shots — and others in the pipeline — are the only way to stop a virus that has been spreading wildly. Nationwide, more than 219,000 people per day on average test positive for the virus, which has killed more than 314,000 in the U.S. and nearly 1.7 million worldwide.
Officials in D.C., Maryland and Virginia announced on Sunday more than 5,200 additional cases of the virus. Forty-nine more people with COVID-19 died, including a 37-year-old D.C. man.
The seven-day average of new cases was about steady in D.C. and Maryland on Sunday but jumped in Virginia, from 2,605 on Saturday to 2,667 on Sunday.
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
D.C. reported 259 more cases of the virus and seven more deaths. Health officials flagged the daily case rate as high, as well as the percentage of COVID-19 patients out of all patients in hospitals, which is nearly 12 percent. Thirteen fewer people were hospitalized, though, than were the previous day.
Maryland reported 2,054 more cases, and another 37 people died. Twenty-seven more people with COVID-19 were hospitalized than on the previous day.
Virginia reported 2,954 cases, and another five people died. Thirty-two fewer people were hospitalized.
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- The stress of the pandemic is a grind. A data analysis from the American Dental Association shows a surge in cases of teeth grinding, clenching and cracking during the COVID-19 crisis. The increases are striking and potentially costly and painful for sufferers.
- All Maryland hospitals are expected to receive some COVID-19 vaccines in the next two weeks to begin vaccinating critical frontline staff, a state health official said Tuesday.
- A professor is using the trust Black Americans have in barbers to make them more comfortable with taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Meet "The First Five," the group of D.C. emergency responders who will be the first members of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department to get the COVID-19 vaccine this coming week.
- A rapid antigen test might seem like a great idea when you're in a hurry and don't have time to wait a few days for results, but those tests are really designed for people with COVID-19 symptoms and in asymptomatic patients can deliver false positive results.
- News4 has obtained a list of two dozen Maryland hospitals expected to receive the first shipment of Pfizer vaccines once it receives emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
- Health officials in Virginia say they'll likely have to scale back on contact tracing because coronavirus transmission levels are rising so high.
- Help is available for thousands of D.C. residents who have fallen behind on rent payments.
- D.C. Public Schools is preparing for an ambitious pilot program in which it will regularly test some students and staff for the coronavirus.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced measures to boost the number of available health care workers and plan for more hospital beds.
- COVID-19 numbers continue to paint a dire picture for Black Americans, and there is an ongoing effort in the Black community to increase testing.
- D.C. is set to suspend indoor dining starting Dec. 23 at 10 p.m. and continuing until 5 a.m. on Jan. 15, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release.
- Virginia instituted a curfew and a stricter mask mandate.
- Montgomery County's executive has proposed suspending indoor dining, tighter capacity limits at religious institutions and other new restrictions that would take effect 5 p.m. Tuesday, if approved by the county council.
- Maryland tightened restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants.
- All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo closed because of rising COVID-19 cases, officials announced.
- Hours before some Fairfax County students were set to return to in-person learning, the school district said that they needed to delay the plan.
- Courts throughout Maryland partially shut down due to the pandemic.
- Virginia announced new measures to fight COVID-19 as cases of the virus have spiked across the country.
- Prince George's County tightened restrictions and required masks to be worn outdoors.
- Montgomery County reduced capacity limits at many businesses, including for indoor dining, to 25%. The county previously stopped giving waivers for alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
- D.C.'s mayor extended the city's coronavirus state of emergency to last through the end of the year.
How to Stay Safe
Anyone can get COVID-19. Here are three simple ways the CDC says you can lower your risk:
- 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.