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

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

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After a slow start to the national vaccination campaign, new vaccination sites are starting to open up across the country and inoculations are speeding up. Experts are warning, however, that the COVID-19 vaccine could also wind up on the black market.

The much-criticized rollout by the Trump administration has laid the groundwork for a scenario in which the rich and the politically connected could use their money and power to get vaccinated before everyone else, they said.

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staffs were told Sunday to get tested for COVID-19 because of potential exposure Wednesday while they hid from rioters who surged into the Capitol. 

She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. A press release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”

Watson Coleman is isolating at home and awaiting the results of another test. She says, “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”

Watson Coleman had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

Members of Congress and their staffs were advised to wear face masks, observe social distance and check themselves for any symptoms.

Several Virginia health districts are set to move into the next phase of their vaccine distribution plans, officials say. Those in Group 1B, which includes people over the age of 75, teachers, police and firefighters as well as postal, transit and grocery workers, may begin getting vaccinated for COVID-19 on Monday in many areas of Northern Virginia.

Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Lord Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William are among the health districts set to begin their next phase of inoculations Monday.

The Virginia Department of Health says all areas in the state will move into Phase 1B by the end of the month.

In Phase 1C, another 2.5 million Virginians who are considered frontline essential workers would be eligible for vaccinations. Workers in those categories include housing construction, food service and transportation and logistics workers.

Although there is no exact timeline in place, Northam is setting a goal of reaching 50,000 vaccinations per day and believes all Virginians could be vaccinated by this summer.

Washington, D.C. residents age 65 and older can now schedule to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the mayor announced Monday. 

Residents should visit the District health department website to make an appointment, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference. Appointments also can be made by calling 855-363-0333 or 311. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed an economic relief package including direct payments of as much as $750 for low-income to moderate-income families and individuals, he announced at a press conference Monday.

"Families who file for the Earned Income Tax Credit will receive an additional $750. Individuals will receive $450," Hogan said.

About 400,000 Marylanders in need would qualify and no applications would be necessary to receive the funding.

The relief act proposal would provide more than $1 billion in immediate and targeted financial relief and tax cuts for Maryland working families, unemployed Marylanders and small businesses that are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal first needs to be passed by the legislature on Wednesday before it can be implemented.

A total of 6,189 Marylanders have been completely vaccinated as of Monday and more than 136,213 first doses have been administered so far, health officials reported.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced in a series of tweets on Sunday that Maryland hospitals and health systems had administered 89,234 (44.3%) of the doses they have received and local health departments had administered 33,608 (40.2%) of their doses.

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.

What the Data Shows

D.C. announced on Monday another 202 cases of COVID-19. Four more people died. Maryland had an additional 3,012 cases and 29 deaths. Virginia reported a further 3,545 cases and nine more lives lost.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases was up across the board on Monday. D.C. (298), Maryland (3,126) and Virginia (3,730) all set new records for the highest average of new cases since the start of the pandemic.

As of Monday, 3,117 patients confirmed positive for COVID-19 are hospitalized in Virginia. In Maryland, 1,957 patients are hospitalized. D.C. reported 298 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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