- Virginia recorded 2,692 new cases Friday, the lowest single-day increase in three weeks.
- Seven-day averages have fallen across the board. Maryland is showing the most-improved trends.
- The percent of population vaccinated has reached 4.4% in Virginia and 4.6% in Maryland (D.C. vaccinates both residents and non-residents and reports the numbers together).
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan gave schools an ultimatum Thursday: Try to start hybrid learning by March 1 or face legal action.
Hogan said too many children are left behind by virtual learning and he wants every county to start offering in-person classes.
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Hogan warned that some jurisdictions around the country have cut the pay of teachers who refuse to come back to school.
“We do not want to have to take such actions here in Maryland,” Hogan said. “But if school systems do not immediately begin a good-faith effort to return to classrooms, we will explore every legal avenue at our disposal.”
Prince George’s County says it is working toward returning small groups in the spring.
Montgomery County hasn't settled on a date yet but says it will keep working with the state.
For many residents, getting the vaccine is proving to be a challenge.
In hard-hit Prince George's County, vaccine appointments are booked through February. But a significant portion of those slots are filled by people who live outside the county — as many as 50%.
Among them are many residents of Montgomery County, where health officials said there aren’t enough vaccines.
“Our people should be vaccinated first,” one woman said.
In Virginia, vaccine shortages continue to be an issue.
Gov. Ralph Northam says as more people are eligible to receive shots, more supplies are needed.
In a positive sign, Northam says Virginia is nearing a vaccination goal, to give 25,000 shots daily by Feb. 15.
Currently, just under 20,000 shots are issued each day across the state.
Virginia expects to receive 105,000 more doses next week.
Going forward, D.C. plans to release vaccination appointments twice a week. Going forward, Bowser says new appointments will be made available every Thursday at 9 a.m. for priority zip codes and Friday at 9 a.m. for all zip codes.
That’s on top of outreach D.C. will facilitate with eligible groups. Next week, the city will start reaching out to D.C. Public Schools and charter school officials to make vaccination appointments.
The District will also give hundreds of doses to Sibley and Johns Hopkins hospitals so they can host clinics for residents in public housing.
There’s concern that child care workers are being left behind, despite their essential status.
“The reality is we're working is as fast as we can with the vaccine available,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “Our plan is still to prioritize child care workers.”
What the Data Shows
COVID-19 metrics in the D.C. area are continuing to show signs of improvement.
Seven-day averages fell across the board, indicating the spread of the virus is slowing.
Maryland is showing the most improvement.
Maryland reported 2,396 new cases and 57 additional deaths on Friday. The state’s seven-day average is currently at 2,311 cases, the lowest it’s been in over 3 weeks.
At 7.5%, Maryland’s average test positivity rate is still higher than the CDC’s recommended level of 5%, but it’s been decreasing for the past two weeks.
Hospitalizations in Maryland are still high, but they are decreasing, too. There are currently 1,768 hospitalized patients in the state, 424 of whom are in the ICU.
D.C. is also showing signs of improvement.
D.C. had 293 new cases and three additional lives lost. The seven-day average decreased for the sixth consecutive day to 252 cases.
The District’s test positivity rate is down to 4.8%, which is on the lower end of the scale, but still higher than the reopening goal rate of 3% or less.
There are 255 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in D.C., 25 of whom are using ventilators.
Virginia recorded 2,692 new cases Friday, the lowest single-day increase in three weeks. There were 58 additional lives lost.
Virginia’s seven-day average is down to 3,999, marking four consecutive days of decrease.
Hospitalizations of confirmed COVID-19 patients in the state are down to 2,663.
Virginia’s average test positivity rate is high, but it has dropped significantly over the past three weeks – from 17.3% on Jan. 3 to 13% on Friday.
About 4.4% of Virginia’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. In Maryland, 4.6% of the population has received their first dose.
D.C. provides a figure representing both residents and workers vaccinated, meaning a percent of the population can’t be calculated.
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/ and covidvax.maryland.gov
- 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.
A study has found that as COVID-19 vaccines roll out, they are disproportionately reaching white populations before Black and other minority communities.
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- Three members of the House have announced that they have tested positive for COVID-19, including Rep. Brad Schneider, of Illinois, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, of New Jersey, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, of Washington – all Democrats.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed economic relief package would provide $750 for qualifying families if approved by state legislators.
- Maryland reported its first two confirmed cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
- Two D.C. friends got a lucky break while in Giant Food in D.C.: When someone didn't show up for their vaccination appointment, the pharmacist asked a man and his friend if they wanted to get the Moderna shot.
- 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.
- 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 lifted its ban on indoor dining, but libraries and recreation centers are still closed.
- 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.