Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Dec. 20

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

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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

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

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.
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