Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Feb. 11

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

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CVS is now officially offering vaccination appointments in Maryland and Virginia, but the appointments were quickly booked up — a reminder of the shot scarcity that is complicating schools' reopening plans.

Here's what to know about the fight against COVID-19 in the D.C. area.

DC Confirms First COVID-19 Variant Cases

Variants of COVID-19 have been confirmed for the first time in four patients in Washington, D.C., the District’s health director announced Thursday. 

Variants first found in the United Kingdom and South Africa were detected, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told D.C. officials, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said at a news conference.

The variant first found in the United Kingdom was found in three patients; the variant first found in South Africa was found in one person. Information was not immediately released on whether the D.C. patients had recently traveled or were hospitalized. 

Go here for the full story

Back-to-School Safety Standards

Vaccinations are not expected to be a prerequisite for reopening schools when new guidance comes from the White House as early as Friday.

That's been a major sticking point for many local teachers.

The Prince George's County teacher union sent a letter to the school board and the schools system's CEO requesting air filtration systems, virus testing, contact tracing, vaccinations, protective gear for all students and staff and hazard pay.

New study finds wearing a surgical mask under a cloth mask can reduce COVID-19 transmission by 95 percent.

They want parents, students and the community to participate in all aspects of reopening.

“We want to make sure that the staff and also the students are protected, because they are vulnerable,” said Nicole West, a parent of a student with special needs.

A spokesman for Prince George’s County Public Schools told News4 that it received the letter from the teachers and is working to provide a response to both the union and the public.

CDC’s Newest Mask Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance on mask wearing? Make sure you have a tight fit.

Researchers say by knotting the ear loops close to where they meet the fabric and tucking in the edges you can reduce your exposure by more than 95 percent.

Another option is double masking. The CDC found that wearing a cloth mask over a surgical-style mask was just as effective.

CVS to Offer COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments in DC Area

CVS began allowing eligible groups to register to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Maryland and Virginia stores Thursday — and the slots were rapidly booked.

By 11 a.m., slots in every city were labelled “fully booked.”

There was rocky start to CVS pharmacies’ coronavirus vaccine launch in Virginia.

An agreement between CVS and the commonwealth to get people on local health department's waiting lists as priority didn’t work out as planned.

The appointments were accidentally released to the public early and booked up within hours.

CVS tells NBC Washington they will be offering the COVID-19 vaccines at 18 stores in Maryland and at 36 in Virginia in areas including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Gainesville, Warrenton and Winchester next week.

You can check the vaccine portal at, using the CVS app or if you’re offline, calling 1-800-746-7287.

An important reminder: You will only be able to get an appointment if you're part of qualifying groups, such as certain essential workers and people over the age of 65.

The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.

What the Data Shows

D.C., Maryland and Virginia each added more cases Thursday than the day before, but new cases are still trending downward in the region.

The seven-day average is up in D.C. and Virginia but still decreasing in Maryland. D.C. has an average of 167, Maryland is down to 1,261 and Virginia is up 85 cases to a seven-day average of 2,462.

Cases increased by 185 in D.C. and an additional 8 deaths were reported.

Maryland had a further 1,199 cases and 21 deaths. Virginia recorded 2,591 new cases and 27 additional lives lost.

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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