Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Feb. 1

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

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).

Public school teachers in Prince George's County started receiving their vaccinations Saturday at the county's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. News4's Derrick Ward reports.

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.

To get a better idea of when you'll be eligible to receive a vaccine, use our tool below.

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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