A blanket of snow covered the D.C. area Sunday, affecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution and testing sites on Monday.
Testing sites in D.C., Montgomery County and Prince William County are closed due to the wintry weather. Vaccine appointments scheduled for Monday have been canceled in Fairfax County and Prince George’s County.
Those who had their appointments canceled will be able to reschedule for later in the week.
Vaccinations in DC by Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity data is now available on D.C.’s coronavirus portal, but the data doesn't show a complete picture, D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said at a press conference Monday.
There are more than 11,000 missing data points, Nesbitt says, which means no conclusions can be drawn from the data yet.
This week's priority zip codes for vaccines will be in wards 5, 7 and 8 and will "focus on black and brown communities," Nesbitt said.
Maryland Eases Restrictions, Plans New Vaccination Sites
Bars and restaurants in Maryland will be able to remain open past 10 p.m starting Monday. Restaurants will still have to operate at no more than 50% indoor capacity, however.
The tightened restrictions on bar and restaurant hours were put into effect on Nov. 20, 2020 because of surging cases and hospitalizations in the state. Now, as cases decline, Gov. Larry Hogan says it's safe to ease back on certain restrictions.
Beginning this Friday, Maryland will open several mass vaccination sites to speed up inoculations. The first sites are set to open at the Baltimore Convention Center and Six Flags America in Prince George’s County. Announcements will be made as appointments become available, officials say.
Vaccinations for Child Care Providers and Independent School Teachers Begin in DC
Vaccinations for D.C.-area teachers began last week, and starting Monday, child care providers and independent school teachers and staff in D.C. will be eligible to book vaccination appointments as well.
About 1,400 appointments will be made available for the first week of February and 900 appointments for each subsequent week.
Eligible teachers and child care workers were sent instructions with next steps by D.C. Health and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
Masks Required on All Public Transport
Starting Monday night, masks will be required on all public transportation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week.
The mandate issued by CDC division director Martin S. Cetron was made after President Joe Biden issued an executive order Jan. 21 that called for mask-wearing on all forms of public transit.
The mandate will apply to all public commercial transportation, including planes, trains, boats, buses, air terminals, train stations, subways and subway stations, seaports, ferries, taxis, ride-hail vehicles and bus depots.
South Africa Variant Found in Maryland
Maryland health officials confirmed the state's first case of COVID-19 caused by the new variant first identified in South Africa, Hogan announced Saturday.
The new case was identified in an adult living in the Baltimore metro region with no international travel history, "making community transmission likely," officials say. Contact tracing is underway.
New and more transmissible variants are contributing in part to the continued spread of the virus. A strain first detected in the United Kingdom has now been found in 31 states, according to the CDC.
As of Monday, several cases of a variant first discovered in South Africa have been reported in the U.S.
What the Data Shows
Cases are continuing to decline across the region on Feb. 1.
Seven-day averages fell from 224 to 215 in D.C., from 1,860 to 1,785 in Maryland and from 3,290 to 2,957 in Virginia. Those are the most significant declines recorded in the past week.
D.C. currently has a total of 37,008 cases since the start of the pandemic. On Monday, 136 new cases and three additional deaths were reported.
Maryland reported 1,163 new cases and 27 new deaths on Monday. The state now has a total of 355,636 reported COVID-19 cases.
Virginia's case count is up to 406,591. The state recorded an additional 2,122 new infections and nine additional lives lost on Monday.
Vaccination Portals by County
As vaccinations in our region ramp up, here's a look at local portals residents can use to sign up for vaccination appointments or sign up to receive alerts.
- Washington, D.C. signups– vaccinate.dc.gov
- Maryland signups – www.marylandvax.org/ and covidvax.maryland.gov
- Virginia information – www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/
- Montgomery County – www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/
- Prince George's County – www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3730/COVID-19-Vaccination
- Howard County – www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls/COVID-19-Vaccine
- Anne Arundel County – aahealth.org/covid-19-vaccine-faq/
- Fairfax County – www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/vaccine
- City of Alexandria – www.alexandriava.gov/health/info/default.aspx?id=119270
- Loudoun County – www.loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine
- Prince William County – coronavirus.pwcgov.org/vaccine-information/ & VDH
To get a better idea of when you'll be eligible to receive a vaccine, use our tool below.
When Could I Get the Vaccine?
Answer the questions to calculate your risk profile and see where you fall in your county's and state's vaccine lineup. This estimate is based on a combination of vaccine rollout recommendations from the CDC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group, see this methodology.
Source: the Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19 by Ariadne Labs and the Surgo Foundation
Interactive by Amy O’Kruk/NBC
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- Bars and restaurants in Maryland will be able to remain open past 10 p.m. starting Monday, Feb. 1, the governor announced. Restaurants will still be capped at half-capacity indoors.
- Nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in the D.C. region are still working to convince some of their employees that it's safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- There are growing concerns the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was also a superspreader event for the men and women defending the building.
- Hogan outlined plans to put the infrastructure in place to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations when a higher volume of doses becomes available. Six mass vaccination sites are planned, including one at Six Flags America.
- Georgetown University says it will discipline medical students who received COVID-19 vaccines though they were not eligible to receive them.
- Just as millions of Americans are rolling up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine, the News4 I-Team has learned the outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services made it much harder to get compensated for the most common vaccine injury.
- COVID-19 vaccine supply shortages forced Inova Health System to cancel first-dose appointments for people in Northern Virginia’s Group 1B, a group that includes employees of Fairfax County Public Schools.
- D.C.’s child care workers are asking officials not to push back their COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says school districts should resume in-person learning by March 1 or face legal action, which the state teacher's union says is a threat to educators.
- Police officers who risked their lives during the deadly riots inside the U.S. Capitol have been hailed as heroes. On Friday, Chief Robert Contee said some of those heroes have since tested positive for COVID-19.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed economic relief package would provide $750 for qualifying families if approved by state legislators.
- Maryland reported its first two confirmed cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
- 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.
- A professor is using the trust Black Americans have in barbers to make them more comfortable with taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
- 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.
- 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.
- A judge upheld Montgomery County, Maryland's ban on indoor dining.
- D.C. has lifted its ban on indoor dining, but libraries and recreation centers are still closed.
- Virginia instituted a curfew and a stricter mask mandate.
- Maryland tightened restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants.
- All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed because of rising COVID-19 cases.
- 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 remain partially shut down due to the pandemic.
- Prince George's County tightened restrictions and required masks to be worn outdoors.
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.