The United States closed out 2020 with the deadliest month since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while surpassing 20 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to a tally by NBC News.
Holy Cross has canceled its vaccine appointment portal after ineligible people signed up.
A hospital official said the scheduling system allowed thousands of people to sign up who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. One or more healthcare workers apparently forwarded a vaccine appointment link to friends and family.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced updates on the vaccination rollout in the District.
Starting the week of Jan. 11, adults age 65 and older can begin registering for their inoculations on vaccinate.dc.gov.
Starting the week of Jan. 25, certain essential workers — including grocery store workers, educators and child care workers — can start signing up to receive vaccinations.
Starting in February, D.C. residents with chronic medical conditions and other essential workers can begin scheduling their vaccinations.
Bowser reminded residents to only begin signing up once their group is permitted to do so.
“If people rush to use this portal who are not health care workers, it will create a difficult time for our health care workers, who are our Phase 1A population, from being able to use the system as it is designed," she said.
There are nearly than 14,000 appointments for health care workers on D.C.'s vaccination portal, of which only 36% have been booked.
Additionally, D.C. officials clarified that if a resident misses their scheduled vaccine appointment, their vaccine dose should not go to waste. Any available essential workers or patients should be vaccinated "in lieu of wasting vaccine," D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said Monday.
“We have given all of our providers very clear instructions that once a vial of vaccine has been removed from the refrigerator, and it has been thawed... that any person that is available to be vaccinated should be vaccinated,” Dr. Nesbitt said.
As of Monday, more than 172,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in the D.C. region – 16,989 in the District, 65,692 in Maryland and 89,326 in Virginia.
More than 1,400 nursing homes in Virginia are set to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks.
CVS and Walgreens will administer the vast majority of the doses, according to reports by The Virginian-Pilot. The pharmacy chains have partnered with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to administer vaccines at nursing homes so residents don’t have to travel.
Fauquier County Public Schools has pushed back reopening until after Jan. 15, following a vote by the school board. Instruction will remain virtual until then.
The school district was originally planning to reopen on Jan. 8.
"Data will be reviewed on January 11, and a recommendation will be made with an option of beginning the hybrid instructional model on January 19, 2021," the school system announced on their website.
Frederick County Public Schools has suspended small group instruction and winter sports practice due to worsening health metrics in the county.
All instruction will be virtual until further notice, the school system said.
What the Data Shows
As of Monday, there are more than 624,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the D.C. area.
D.C. recorded 140 new cases and three lives lost. Maryland had 2,483 new cases and 33 deaths. Virginia reported 2,736 new cases and six deaths.
Seven-day averages rose in Maryland and Virginia over the weekend. D.C.'s average case tally has remained level around the 220 mark for the past week.
At the end of January, Maryland reported an average of 2,276. As of Monday, Maryland's seven-day average is up to 2,660.
Virginia recorded a seven-day average of 3,182 on Monday – that's more than 500 cases higher than it was at the end of December.
Hospitalizations are high as well. Virginia broke a new record with 2,433 hospitalizations Monday. In Maryland, 1,751 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. In D.C., 251 residents are hospitalized.
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- 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.