The United States reported a record number of coronavirus cases and deaths on Wednesday, according to a tally by NBC News.
Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has seen more than 21 million cases and 360,000 deaths.
Nationwide, one person died from the virus every 34 seconds, according to NBC News.
The congressman had appeared on the House floor to vote following a day of mayhem and violence on the Capitol grounds Wednesday. He is now quarantining and will not return to the floor "until he is cleared to do so," his tweet said.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that those next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – priority group 1B – would include teachers, people over the age of 75, mail carriers, corrections officers, police, firefighters, grocery store workers and transit workers.
Of those in phase 1B, the largest group on the list is the state’s 285,000 teachers and childcare workers.
“Teachers are critical to getting schools back open, and that's critical to people getting back to work and literally getting back to normal,” Northam said.
Although he stressed the need to get students back in school, Northam said schools don't have to wait for teachers to be vaccinated. He also revealed that year-round school is being considered as a way to get students back on track.
“One of the things that we are certainly entertaining is looking at year-round schooling for the next year. Perhaps adding increased days this next summer to really help our kids get caught up,” Northam said.
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.
Virginia is vaccinating people slower than most states, according to data from the CDC.
Virginia ranks 38th among all states and D.C. for vaccinations per capita as of Wednesday, when Northam addressed the state's progress.
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.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and Public Health Officer Dr. Barbara
Brookmyer released a statement Thursday that COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the county have begun.
By Jan. 15, all 4,700 doses allocated to Frederick County Health Department will have been distributed to people identified as Group 1A in the Maryland vaccination plan, officials say.
“The goal is to vaccine everyone as fast as possible,” Executive Gardner said. “We know it will take many months to vaccinate our community, so we must continue to stay strong and hold the line.”
All nursing home residents and staff in Frederick County and all health care workers at Frederick Health Hospital who chose to be vaccinated have already received their first dose of the vaccine, the statement said
First responders and other health care providers have either received their first dose or are in the process of scheduling their appointments.
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.
Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks fired back against Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan after he said her county was among those lagging behind in vaccinations.
“You think I don't want to put vaccines in people's arms? We absolutely want to put vaccines in the arms of all of our residents. This jurisdiction was the one that was hardest hit, but it’s also the one that has been neglected, really, if we’re honest about it, for decades now,” Alsobrook said.
She said that even with all the county's planning, there weren't enough trained people to vaccinate the people that would be distributing the vaccine.
The county still has most of the 3,700 vaccines it received a week ago. The hope is that volunteers like school nurses and the arrival of some of the Maryland National Guard will expedite the process starting Thursday.
Part of the hold up was that frontline health care workers weren’t signing up to get their designated vaccinations.
The general public in Prince George's County can expect vaccinations to begin by late spring, Alsobrooks said.
On Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the National Guard would deploy emergency support teams across Maryland to help local health departments to expand vaccination capacity.
Teams of nine-to-14 guard members were deployed starting Wednesday.
“While none of us are thrilled with the pace of this rollout over the first couple of weeks, I can assure you that it is improving every day," Hogan said at a news conference.
A new study discovered that patients with milder forms of COVID-19 were more likely to lose their sense of taste and smell than patients with worse cases.
The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that 86% of patients with mild cases developed a loss of taste and smell, compared with 4–7% of those with moderate to severe cases.
What the Data Shows
D.C. reported 268 new coronavirus cases and two additional lives lost on Thursday. Maryland had 2,970 new cases and 44 deaths. Virginia recorded 3,774 new confirmed infections and 42 deaths.
Average cases in the region increased slightly. As of Thursday, seven-day averages in D.C., Maryland and Virginia were at 252, 2,745 and 3,382, respectively.
For the third consecutive day, a record number of hospitalizations were recorded in Virginia – 2,663 Virginians are currently hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Maryland reported Thursday that 1,834 people were hospitalized. D.C. reported there were 265 hospitalized patients on Wednesday.
More than 231,000 people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, according to local health departments. More than 3,678 people in the region have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
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.
Correction (January 7, 2021; 11:45 p.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Virginia ranks 41st in the U.S. This was based on a list that included U.S. territories. Virginia ranks 38th among all states and D.C.