From canceled appointments to shipping delays, winter weather is also impacting vaccinations across the county and in the Washington, D.C., area,
Both Maryland and Virginia say storms are delaying expected shipments of critical doses, after some vaccine clinics such as the mass site at Six Flags America were forced to reschedule appointments.
The Virginia Health Department says more than 100,000 doses will not arrive on time.
“Even if the roads are clear in Virginia, the fulfillment of orders and the movement of these vaccine and ancillary supplies may be delayed in other parts of the country,” a news release said.
Maryland shared a notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying that shipments were canceled or slowed down on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This may have a significant impact on providers’ ability to hold clinics as scheduled,” a Maryland Department of Health press release said.
The state is expects to eventually receive a big backlog of doses when shipping resumes.
Despite the issues, Maryland surpassed 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses administered, Gov. Larry Hogan announced.
Maryland has given out more than 94% of doses received from the federal government.
The Six Flags America mass vaccination site opened later due to continuing winter weather Friday, but anyone scheduled after 10 a.m. should arrive on time.
Prince George’s County had to cancel all first dose appointments for Friday through Monday because of weather-driven delays in shipments.
Thousands of vaccines didn’t arrive as expected.
The county has also made accommodations for seniors so they won't be standing out in the cold as they wait in line. They’re instructed to wait in their cars if they arrive early and they can get a ride in a golf cart to get them inside the facility quickly and safely.
For residents wanting to know when their first dose appointments can be rescheduled, the Prince George's officials say, "as soon as possible."
University of Maryland Fights Outbreak
The University of Maryland is implementing six new safety measures to keep students safe from COVID-19 amid a “significant and concerning” rise in cases.
The restrictions include things like limiting indoor and outdoor student gatherings to five people, heavily enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing.
The university plans to do additional testing for those living in places with outbreaks and take “enhanced health precautions” in residence halls and fraternity or sorority houses.
“If there is no significant decrease in cases over the coming days, we will take further action,” UMD said.
What the Data Shows
The region reported its lowest 24-hour increase in deaths in over a month Friday. Despite this positive news, the District is fast approaching 1,000 lives lost due to the virus since the start of the pandemic.
D.C. recorded 160 new cases on Friday. One 70-year-old D.C. resident lost his life due to COVID-19. Maryland had 1,008 new cases and 16 deaths. Virginia reported 1,557 new infections and 11 deaths.
D.C.’s seven-day average increased by 3 cases to 113. Maryland and Virginia’s seven-day averages are down to 857 and 1,525, respectively. Hospitalizations are down across the board. In Virginia, hospitalizations decreased by more than 1,000 over the past month. Maryland hospitalizations have decreased by more than 800 and D.C. hospitalizations are down by more than 60 cases compared to one month ago.
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
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- The number of coronavirus vaccine shots that have been given in Virginia is ticking up, but the state is still falling short of its desired inoculation rate because too few vaccines are coming in, Gov. Ralph Northam said.
- More people are eligible for vaccinations in D.C., including grocery store workers.
- NBC News is making finding information on when, how and where to obtain your coronavirus vaccination easier with its Plan Your Vaccine website.
- Medical schools across the country report a spike in applications, especially from students of color. At Georgetown University’s medical school, applications are up 24% overall and 40% from underrepresented minorities. The University of Maryland along with Howard University have also seen a rising number of applicants.
- The Maryland General Assembly has passed a pandemic relief measure that will deliver more than $1 billion in tax relief and economic stimulus for low-income families and small businesses.
- The first case of a COVID-19 variant from South Africa was diagnosed in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam said.
- Health officials confirmed Maryland's first case of COVID-19 caused by the new variant first identified in South Africa, then another two cases in Montgomery County residents.
- Many D.C. restaurant workers who already were coping with the safety hazards and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic also are facing increased sexual harassment, a report from a labor organization says.
- Face masks are now required in all National Park Service buildings, and on land maintained by the Park Service when physical distancing is not possible, federal officials announced.
- 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.
- Thousands of students returned to classrooms as schools reopened Tuesday in Frederick County, Maryland, Fairfax County and Loudoun County.
- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam directed all schools to offer in-person classes by March 15, saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leaders say it's possible to reopen safely.
- The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to bring all students back in-person for hybrid learning by March 16.
- D.C. 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.
- 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.