coronavirus

Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Jan. 15

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

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The COVID-19 pandemic will shorten life expectancy for Americans by more than 1 year to 77.48 years, researchers at USC and Princeton are projecting.

The declines in life expectancy are likely even starker among Black and Latino communities, according to the study published Thursday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For Blacks, the researchers project their life expectancy would shorten by more than 2 years to 72.78 years, and by about 3 years for Latinos to 78.77 years.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, 4,309 coronavirus vaccination appointments will become available to residents of Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 who are aged 65 and older or who work in a health care setting, D.C. Health announced Friday.

When appointments open, only residents who live in the listed wards will be able to make an appointment to get the vaccine through the vaccinate.dc.gov portal or by calling D.C.'s COVID-19 call center (1-855-363-0333).


Virginia residents age 65 and older can schedule to receive a vaccine, Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a news conference Thursday. Officials expanded state vaccination Phase 1b, which previously included residents age 75 and older. Also new: Anyone who has a chronic health condition is eligible. 

Appointment availability will likely vary based on residents' health district, and some areas may not be ready to offer more appointments. Northam said he hopes “everyone in Virginia will be there by the end of the month.”

Virginia is giving vaccines to people in Phase 1a and Phase 1b. Phase 1a is comprised of health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1b is composed of front-line essential workers including police officers and grocery store workers; people age 65 and older; and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps. 

Virginia has distributed about 950,000 vaccine shots but will need about 17 million doses in order to give each person the two shots they need.


Also starting Thursday, Fairfax County Public School teachers, bus drivers, custodial workers and other staff became eligible to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first round of vaccinations for this group will begin Saturday and all staff members will get their first dose within the next three weeks, officials say.

The vaccine will be administered through the INOVA Health System.


The University of Maryland Medical System will hold a free virtual townhall on Monday to address people's questions and concerns about the COVID vaccine.

You can find several ways to participate, including on Zoom and by phone, online here.


Maryland is moving into Phase 1B of vaccinations starting Monday.

Marylanders age 75 and older, all residents at long-term care facilities, and teachers and education staff will be eligible, Gov. Larry Hogan announced at a press conference Thursday.

Anyone of any age living in assisted-living or independent-living facilities, behavioral health group homes, or homes centered on developmental disabilities will be eligible.

Phase 1B also includes all K-12 teachers, education staff and childcare providers, the governor said.

The governor also announced that the state would be accelerating its vaccination rollout – enabling Phase 1C to begin on Monday, Jan. 25. 

Phase 1C will be expanded to all adults between the ages of 65 and 74, anywhere in the state.

A new online portal with a list of vaccination sites and vaccinator contact information launched Thursday at covidvax.maryland.gov.


Across the country, more than 9.3 million vaccine doses have been administered, out of a total 27.6 million doses distributed as of Thursday, according to the latest data from the CDC.


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.

When Could I Get the Vaccine?

Answer the questions to calculate your risk profile and see where you fall in your county's and state's vaccine lineup. This estimate is based on a combination of vaccine rollout recommendations from the CDC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group, see this methodology.
Source: the Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19 by Ariadne Labs and the Surgo Foundation
Interactive by Amy O’Kruk/NBC


Early data released form phase one and two trials of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine show that it appears to be safe and generates an immune response

Johnson & Johnson's one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to be effective in both young and elderly volunteers, according to early-to-mid stage trial data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Most of the volunteers produced detectable antibodies after 28 days, according to the trial data.

The most common side effects were fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and pain at the injection site, according to the trial data.


What the Data Shows

D.C. reported 320 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.

Maryland recorded 2,924 new infections and 45 deaths Friday.

In Virginia, 3,613 new cases were recorded as well as 30 lives lost to the coronavirus.

The seven-day rolling average declined for the third consecutive day in D.C. (currently at 290) and Maryland (currently at 3,019). Average cases in Virginia also dropped significantly – from 3,740 on Thursday to 3,678 on Friday.

Hospitalizations have also reached a balancing point, after record highs were reported earlier in the week.

D.C. is reporting 285 hospitalizations, Maryland has 1,484 hospitalized patients and Virginia currently has 2,805 hospitalized patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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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