Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Jan. 4

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

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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

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.

David McMillan shared his experience on social media, calling the pharmacist "a hero." News4's Darcy Spencer has the reaction from Giant, which is backing their pharmacist for making sure the vaccine didn't go to waste.

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.

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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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