Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Feb. 28

Here's what to know about the coronavirus data, resources and reopenings for D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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Monday is a big day in the D.C. area as Virginia eases some coronavirus-related restrictions, students start in-person classes in several Maryland districts and the University of Maryland restarts in-person classes after a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Virginia will lift a curfew and loosen limits on outdoor gatherings. The modified stay-at-home order that directed residents to stay home between midnight and 5 a.m. will be lifted, Gov. Ralph Northam said earlier in the week. Residents should still limit going out, the governor said. 

The limit on outdoor social gatherings will increase from 10 to 25 people. Outdoor entertainment venues can operate at 30% capacity, capped at 1,000 people. And alcohol sales will be allowed until midnight, extended from 10 p.m. 

One woman spends hours every day helping make appointments for anyone who asks.

Students Start In-Person Learning in Several Maryland Districts

Some students in several Maryland school districts will return to school in person starting Monday.

Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and Howard County, among others, will bring some students back into school.

The schools will start with some grade levels, gradually bringing in more children over the following weeks. The number of days per week of in-person instruction varies in each district, with the most popular option being twice a week. Students can still choose to attend school virtually only.

Early studies have shown little to no evidence that schools open for in-person instruction have led to a significant spread of the coronavirus in local communities.

UMD to Restart In-Person Classes in College Park 

The University of Maryland’s flagship campus will resume in-person instruction on Monday after having suspended live classes for a week due to COVID-19 outbreaks, according to school leaders.

Improving coronavirus figures on the College Park campus have contributed to the resumption. An order from last week requiring residents in student housing to “sequester in place" also has been lifted, The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.

News4's Darcy Spencer reports on the new restrictions and the order for students to "sequester in place."

University President Darryll Pines and the chief medical officer for the university’s health center credited the campus community for working to curb the spread. The number of cases has slowed and the testing positive rate is low, according to their announcement. The number of new cases reported daily to the school remains high compared to earlier in February. 

COVID Vaccine for Elementary Schoolers Likely Coming in Early 2022: Fauci

Elementary school-aged children will likely be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations early next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press.”

Fauci, the government's leading epidemiologist, said that there are studies already underway studying vaccine safety for younger children.

"If you project realistically, when we will be able to get enough data to be able to say that elementary school children will be able to be vaccinated, I would think that would be, at the earliest, the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," Fauci said.

Go here to see the full story from CNBC.

CDC Launches VaccineFinder.Org

Even if you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, it can be hard to find one. Now, there's a new government tool designed to help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a website called

The site works as an interactive map. You put in your zip code and how far you want to search in your local area.

The search returns a list of all the places that offer vaccine shots near you and notes whether they have vaccine in stock.

Clicking on a pharmacy takes you to the providor’s page where you can book an appointment — you can't actually make the appointment through Vaccine Finder.

The tool can help people find shots, but you'll still need to do the leg work of calling and refreshing websites for new slots.

Right now, Vaccine Finder is still very limited in most states, including D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

That means, when you search, you are only seeing certain pharmacies that are getting their doses directly from the federal government.

The FDA is expected to authorize emergency use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine this weekend. News4’s Darcy Spencer takes a closer look at a vaccine experts say can protect you with just one shot.

In the coming weeks, more providers like clinics, hospitals and public health sites will be listed.

When the vaccine is more widely available, the CDC says it will be even more helpful.

The government is partnering with companies like Google and Waze so your phone can locate vaccination clinics near you.

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. announced on Sunday another 120 cases of COVID-19 and the deaths of seven more people, including two men in their 50s. Eight fewer people were hospitalized with the virus.

Maryland announced 827 more cases and the deaths of 13 more people. Twenty-four fewer people were hospitalized with the virus. 

Virginia announced 1,268 more cases and the deaths of 145 more people. Forty fewer people were hospitalized. 

Overall, cases of the virus and hospitalizations have fallen in the D.C. area since about mid-January.

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.

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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