Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on March 19

Here's what to know about the coronavirus data, resources and reopenings for D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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What the Data Shows

Virginia reported 1,029 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, and the weekly average fell.

The number of COVID deaths in the state also fell, to 8,450. Why did Virginia’s death figure fall? The Virginia Department of Health Epidemiology team says it has been reviewing more than 10,000 medical cases to ensure they are consistent with the state’s definition of a COVID-19 death, a VDH spokesperson said. About 99 deaths have been reclassified as a COVID-19 case that did not result in death, VDH said.

D.C. reported meeting or exceeding most of its Phase 2 coronavirus metric reopening guidelines. The average daily case rate, at 15.5, is just slightly above the benchmark, which is under 15 cases per 100,000 population.

The District counted 142 new coronavirus cases on Friday. The seven-day average of new cases declined slightly and hospitalizations fell by 20, to 123.

Maryland’s weekly case average grew as the state reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in about a month, 1,152.

Vaccine numbers continue to climb: Maryland and Virginia have each given shots to about 12% of their population. D.C.’s most current numbers, from last week, show 6.8% of residents fully vaccinated, after the city administered 150,880 doses to both people who live and work in the city.

Local Coronavirus News

  • This year's White House Easter Egg Roll has been cancelled, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Friday. "The Bidens hope to continue this tradition in 2022," the spokesman said. The White House plans to send out thousands of 2021 commemorative Easter Egg Roll eggs to vaccination sites and local hospitals.
  • More people will be able to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Easter and during Holy Week. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office temporarily raised coronavirus-related capacity limits at the Basilica. The mayor’s office granted the Archdiocese a waiver to allow between 750 and 1,500 people inside. 
  • All Marylanders over age 16 will be eligible for coronavirus vaccinations no later than April 27, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday. He also announced several upcoming eligibility phases before then. Find more information about upcoming eligibility groups here.
  • Virginia's schools and colleges can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies with as many as 5,000 attendees.
  • Maryland has surpassed two million vaccinations. Nearly 25% of residents have received at least one dose, including two-thirds of residents over age 65.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools officials say they're planning to have students back in schools in-person five days per week starting this fall
  • Teachers in Prince George's County headed back to the classroom Wednesday, although they won't have students in person for another month. However, the push to bring them back is causing controversy. Teachers are concerned with levels of community spread, and some have not received their second round of vaccinations. The school district says it's safe to return.
  • Fairfax County has expanded vaccine eligibility to more essential workers within group 1B, including food and agriculture; manufacturing and grocery workers. The county is targeting mid-April for a movement to Phase 1C.
  • Stimulus checks are arriving in bank accounts. Here’s information on tracking your payment and what to do if you have trouble.
  • The Montgomery County Council announced Tuesday that it secured a mass vaccination site, but Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called the announcement premature.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak at a Virginia high school may be linked to travel sports, the county's health director said.
  • D.C. is set to allow some live entertainment to resume and loosen some other restrictions starting March 22.
  • The Nationals, whose home opener is set for April 1, will be permitted to admit 5,000 fans for their game against the New York Mets.
  • NBC News is making finding information on when, how and where to obtain your coronavirus vaccination easier with its Plan Your Vaccine website.

Key Charts and Graphs

The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.

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.

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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