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

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

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After a long and difficult 2020, the new year has dawned -- but the return to regular daily life won't arrive overnight. While vaccinations give us reason to hope, epidemiologists and public health experts say that the pandemic will continue to be a major factor in 2021.

TODAY Health spoke to seven experts to get their thoughts on what this year will look like. Read more here.

Maryland's state health department is working with regional and federal partners to test patient samples for infection with the new variant of the coronavirus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are collaborating with the state’s public health lab, as well as state labs in California and Delaware, to test for the apparently more contagious variant, the Baltimore Sun reported.

A Maryland health department spokesman says the variant has not been detected in Maryland.

Some local restaurant owners used New Year’s Eve to plead for more federal assistance, saying failure to do so could have economic consequences that last well beyond the coronavirus pandemic. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

New Year’s Eve has traditionally one of the busiest days for the hospitality industry, but this year, bags of takeout food replaced festive restaurant meals.

Some local restaurant owners used the day to plead for more federal assistance, saying failure to do so could have economic consequences that last well beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

At a table set up outside Fight Club on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, packaged take-home drinks were sold to benefit struggling hospitality employees.

Arlington restaurant owner Nick Freshman is among those advocating for passage of federal relief tailored to locally owned restaurants, not big national chains.

“The next few months will be the hardest of the pandemic,” he said. “We wanted to come out and speak for those in our industry who can’t speak for themselves and draw attention to that situation.”

D.C. diagnosed 225 more coronavirus cases on Thursday and reported 234 hospitalizations.

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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