Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Dec. 5

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

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A total of 6,507 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia combined on Saturday, breaking the region’s previous record.

Virginia also reported a new high in diagnoses, 2,922. D.C. also counted a record-breaking number of cases, 392. The state said a backlog of data contributed to the high number.

Maryland reported 3,193 new cases Saturday, down from a record 3,792 reported on Friday.

The data suggests that slowdowns in infections earlier this week were short-lived and the surge in cases is now worsening.

On one hand, hope is coming in a vaccine. The very first shots are set to go out this month.

On the other, doctors warn the worst is yet to come and virus activity is exploding.

COVID-19 killed nearly 45 more people in the D.C. region, officials reported Saturday.

The coronavirus this week has been the nation’s leading cause of death, NBC News reported.

“Now’s the time to hang in there and not give up,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist.

If federal regulators authorize two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, Virginia expects to receive enough doses by the year's end to begin inoculating nearly all of its health care workers and long-term care facility residents, officials said Friday.

The state voted this week to adopt federal recommendations that those two groups be prioritized for vaccination. The Virginia Department of Health estimates there are up to 500,000 health care workers and long-term care facility residents in the state and announced Friday that 480,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna could arrive by the end of December. Read more.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, health professionals say we can't forget about the other epidemic that was already spiraling out of control: the opioid crisis.

The City of Alexandria says overdoses are up significantly this year. Virginia as a whole has seen a 66% increase in overdoses this year.

"This is a public health crisis on top of a public health crisis," said Alexandria Opioid Response Coordinator Emily Bentley. Read more.

What the Data Shows

The data shows the coronavirus pandemic is worsening throughout the region.

D.C. reported 392 new cases on Saturday, a record-breaking high. Two more people died from the virus, officials said.

The daily case rate has risen to 31.38 per 100,000 people, whereas the goal in reopening phase two is a rate below 15.

In hospitals, 193 people are being treated for COVID-19. Hospital utilization is at 85.6%, in the yellow zone.

On average, it takes 3.7 days to get a coronavirus test back. The positivity rate is 5.3%, which is in line with the phase two goal.

Maryland reported 3,193 new cases Saturday. That number is lower than the previous day’s, but it’s the second-largest number of new cases diagnosed in a single day.

A total of 1,598 coronavirus patients are being treated in Maryland’s hospitals.

Prince George’s County remains the hardest-hit, with 43,635 infections and 924 confirmed deaths during the pandemic. It’s followed by Montgomery County with 35,538 cases and 935 deaths.

Virginia reported 2,922 coronavirus cases on Saturday, breaking the state’s previous record. Another 14 deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

The state said a backlog of data contributed to the high number.

The positivity rate has hit 10%, a level not seen since June 1.

Virginia’s hospitals report 1,508 coronavirus patients, its highest number ever.

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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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