As cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia continue to rise, Maryland becomes the latest in the region to double down on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a public health advisory against travel to nine states considered coronavirus hot spots, following in the footsteps of Washington, D.C., which restricted travel from 27 states on Monday.
Maryland also is expanding its mask order, requiring face coverings in public areas of all businesses and outdoor public areas where social distancing isn’t possible. The order goes into effect Friday.
“Wearing a mask is the single best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus, and the science and data are very clear,” Hogan said.
D.C. Public Schools will be all-virtual in the fall due to the continued spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday.
Students without a device or internet access will be provided with the technology needed to participate in virtual lessons.
On Tuesday, Virginia also reimposed restrictions in Hampton Roads, where coronavirus cases are surging higher than elsewhere in the state.
Despite states' best efforts to staunch the spread of the virus, many continue to skirt social distancing guidelines.
Photos obtained by News4 show dozens of people, most of them not wearing masks, packed together at a pool party at a mansion located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, over the weekend.
Prince George's County police said officers responded to Broadwater Estate off of Crain Highway to disperse the party two different times on Saturday.
Neighbors report seeing "a million and one cars parked" for the event.
"We are in the middle of a pandemic. Why are these cars parked here? Who made the decision? Who authorized the event?" resident Bianca Mitchell told News4.
Prince George's County Police said in a statement the department is aware of the community's concerns and officers are enforcing the county executive's order to prohibit parties of more than 100 people. Detectives are also dedicated to looking for events like this one on social media, police said.
As of Thursday, there were more than 22,000 cases in the county.
What the Data Shows
Case numbers didn't top any recent records on Thursday, with D.C. adding 58 new cases, Maryland adding 892 and Virginia adding 846.
Hospitalizations are up in Maryland and Virginia. Hospitals are treating 865 coronavirus patients in Virginia, 585 in Maryland and 87 in D.C.
More than 2 million coronavirus tests have been administered in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The map below shows the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed per 1,000 residents.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- D.C. Public Schools have opted to go all-virtual for the fall semester, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday. Read more.
- There is a push for Fauquier County schools to nix the district's plan to offer some in-person classes. Read more.
- D.C. will require residents and visitors entering the city from 27 states to self-quarantine for two weeks. Read more.
- The National Zoo reopened Friday, allowing a limited number of daily visitors while implementing new safety measures such as mandatory face masks. Watch the report.
- Amid growing concerns about a surge in coronavirus cases this month, a group of nurses gathered outside of Washington MedStar Hospital to voice concerns about their safety on the job. Watch the report.
- D.C. implemented strict new mask guidelines, saying face coverings must be worn whenever you leave home, with few exceptions. Read more.
- D.C. will empower inspectors to issue on-the-spot citations to businesses that violate social distancing rules.
- Fairfax County Public Schools has shifted to a 100% online start to the school year, citing health data. Read more.
- Virginia entered phase three reopening on July 1, loosening restrictions on restaurants, stores, gyms and pools. Northam said more restrictions could be implemented if cases continue to grow.
- Prince George's County entered full phase two on June 23, allowing the MGM Casino and gyms to reopen.
- D.C., entered phase two on June 22, allowing indoor dining, gyms, libraries and houses of worship to reopen with restrictions.
- Montgomery County entered phase two on June 19, reopening with restrictions gyms, houses of worship, indoor dining and retail.
- Maryland entered phase two of reopening on June 10, permitting indoor dining, outdoor pools and outside amusements to reopen.
How to Stay Safe
There are ways to lower your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are guidelines from the CDC:
- Anyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask or face covering. Keep it over your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands often. When you do, scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. As a backup, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who lives outside your home. That means staying six feet away from anyone outside your circle, even if you're wearing masks.
- Always cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Sophia Barnes, Andrea Swalec and Anisa Holmes contributed to this report