Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on March 22

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

As D.C. loosens several COVID-19 restrictions starting Monday, here’s where we stand with illnesses and deaths in our region. 

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped in D.C., Maryland and Virginia since the start of the year. 

D.C. announced on Monday 84 more cases of the virus. No additional people died. Maryland added 682 cases of the virus, and 14 more people died. Virginia added 797 cases. Ten more people died. 

About 17% of D.C. residents are partially or fully vaccinated. About 24% of Maryland residents have received their first dose. About 24% of Virginia residents have at least one dose. 

Key Coronavirus Headlines

DC Loosens COVID-19 Restrictions

D.C. lifted some coronavirus-related restrictions on Monday, affecting restaurants, gyms, theaters and more. 

Restaurants may operate at 25% indoor capacity or with up to 250 people. The businesses must close by midnight, but alcohol can be served until then. Tables must be six feet apart, with up to six people per table. Standing at the bar area is not allowed.

Indoor fitness classes may resume with up to 10 people. Outdoor fitness classes may have up to 50 people. Gyms may operate at 25% capacity or as many as 250 people — whichever is lower. Physical distancing must be maintained. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser asked residents to continue to be careful. 

“We have not crushed the virus in this city or this nation, and we have to be mindful of that. We can’t go back to normal because this virus is still circulating in our city,” she said.

The capacity limit on outdoor gatherings will be increased to 50 people, safely distanced. The limit on private indoor gatherings is still 10 people. 

Professional sports may operate with fans if they have a waiver from D.C. officials. The Nationals can host as many as 5,000 people on opening day.

The District's alcohol board has already issued hundreds of fines for violations of COVID-19 safety protocols. News4's Jodie Fleisher, Katie Leslie, Jeff Piper and Evan Carr report.

Some live entertainment can resume, using a waiver system. Movie theaters may open with no more than 25 people in an auditorium or at 25% capacity — whichever is lower. 

Guided tours of museums, galleries and exhibits may resume. The capacity limit is 25 people per room and 250 people per floor. 

Grocery stores may operate buffets if staff serve the food. Self-service is still prohibited. 

Go here to see the full changes in a presentation by the mayor's office.

More Charles County Students Head Back to School

More students in Charles County headed back into schools on Monday. Charles County Public Schools’ Phase 2 includes students receiving special education services, English learners and those without internet access at home. 

Local Coronavirus News

  • The Virginia Department of Health Epidemiology team said Friday that 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.
  • This year's White House Easter Egg Roll has been canceled, 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 2 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.
  • 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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