Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on July 31

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

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Maryland implemented new mask rules on Friday, requiring residents to wear a mask in any business or commercial building and outside when social distance can't be maintained.

County leaders in the D.C. area are also trying to beat back against a new tide of infections.

In Montgomery County, officials are debating whether to reinstate some restrictions and reviewing internal policies.

An inspector is ordering the cancellation of this weekend's graduation ceremony at Good Council High school in Olney.

Prince George's Executive Angela Alsobrooks says that large family gatherings and parties are leading spots where residents catch coronavirus, and that the county will crackdown on gatherings that exceed the legal limits.

Still, there's an appetite for normalcy and socialization that businesses are trying to meet.

Friday night in Leesburg, South King Street will close between Market and Loudoun Streets so restaurants can expand outdoor seating. Several businesses are already on board with the idea that allows them to serve more customers safely.

In D.C., the much-loved Restaurant Week promotion, which had always been a dine-in discount, will become a multi-course takeout deal with family-style offerings.

FAQ: What to Know About DC's Order to Self-Quarantine After Travel to Virus Hot Spots

What the Data Shows

While D.C. saw its improvement as the average number of new cases fell over the past week, the trend is increasing in Virginia and Maryland.

Maryland diagnosed an average of 940 residents with coronavirus over the last week and Virginia has diagnosed 1,035 on average.

In Maryland, cases are growing rapidly. Prince George's County now has 2,465 cases per 100,000 people. Baltimore has the second-highest rate with 1,858 cases per 100,000.

Hospitalizations are up in Virginia (885 in hospitals) and Maryland (590 in hospitals), both the highest numbers reported since June.

Virginia recorded 32 new deaths on Friday and 955 new cases. Maryland reported 1,169 new cases.

One indicator that's positive: D.C.'s daily average of new cases has fallen from 75 last week to 68 this week.

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

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

Local Coronavirus Headlines

  • Maryland strengthened its mask rules and advised against travel to nine states. Read more.
  • Prince George's County has vowed to crack down on illegal gatherings. Here's more.
  • Virginia’s governor and two U.S. senators have urged President Trump to respond to the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreak that has occurred inside an immigrant detention center. Read more.
  • 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.

Reopening Tracker

How to Stay Safe

There are ways to lower your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are guidelines from the CDC:

  • 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.

Sophia Barnes, Andrea Swalec and Anisa Holmes contributed to this report

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