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 vaccinate.dc.gov 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.
- Washington, D.C. signups– vaccinate.dc.gov
- Maryland signups – www.marylandvax.org/
- 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
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
- D.C. residents age 65 and older, teachers and several categories of essential workers will be able to make appointments this month to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, officials say.
- More than 1,400 long-term care facilities in Virginia are expected to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks.
- Two D.C. friends got a lucky break while in Giant Food in Washington, D.C.,: When someone didn't show up for their vaccination appointment, the pharmacist asked him and his friend if they wanted to get the Moderna shot.
- Virginia reported another record day for new coronavirus infections, and that surge is putting even more pressure on hospitals in the commonwealth already pushed to the brink.
- Among the industries hit hardest by the pandemic has been performance venues like theaters and nightclubs, but help is on the way after President Donald Trump signed the new relief bill.
- New figures from the Virginia Department of Corrections show that two inmates and one staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus have died in recent days.
- The high level of coronavirus cases is putting stress on Northern Virginia hospitals — and the health care professionals who work there.
- The stress of the pandemic is a grind. A data analysis from the American Dental Association shows a surge in cases of teeth grinding, clenching and cracking during the COVID-19 crisis. The increases are striking and potentially costly and painful for sufferers.
- A professor is using the trust Black Americans have in barbers to make them more comfortable with taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
- A rapid antigen test might seem like a great idea when you're in a hurry and don't have time to wait a few days for results, but those tests are really designed for people with COVID-19 symptoms and in asymptomatic patients can deliver false positive results.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced measures to boost the number of available health care workers and plan for more hospital beds.
- COVID-19 numbers continue to paint a dire picture for Black Americans, and there is an ongoing effort in the Black community to increase testing.
- A judge upheld Montgomery County, Maryland's ban on indoor dining.
- D.C. has suspended indoor dining until 5 a.m. on Jan. 15, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release.
- 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.
- Hours before some Fairfax County students were set to return to in-person learning, the school district said that they needed to delay the plan.
- 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.