Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on March 26

Here's what to know about the COVID-19 data, resources and reopenings for D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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What the Data Shows

Weekly averages of new COVID-19 cases increased in D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Friday as the White House shared that a record 3.38 million vaccine doses were administered in the previous day.

It’s a reminder that although millions of people now vaccinated, there’s still progress to be made before we reach herd immunity.

There’s a lot of talk these days about how herd immunity will be our ticket out of the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about what herd immunity is and how we get it.

The coronavirus has been spreading faster in Maryland all month, illustrated by steadily rising averages. Four weeks ago, it was 749. Now, it’s 1,064.

Hospitalizations are also up. As long as case numbers are rising, it’s likely this troubling trend will continue.

Maryland reached a positive milestone: a record number of vaccinations given in a day, Gov. Larry Hogan said. More than 60,000 doses were administered. Now, more than a third of Marylanders over 18 have gotten at least one vaccine dose, according to CDC data.

D.C. reported a high 156 new cases and 133 hospitalized patients, a slight decline. The case average rose by two. Virginia’s case average rose by 14, to 887. It could indicate the case numbers are beginning to trend upward.

Virginia has given out 2.2 million vaccine doses, fully vaccinating 14.2% of residents, the state says.

Hospitalizations are lower than the past few weeks, at 819.

Vaccinations are reported weekly.

Local Coronavirus News

  • Access to the famous Tidal Basin cherry blossoms could be closed off if the crowds can’t maintain social distancing. The National Park Service says it’s prioritizing public health.
  • On March 29, D.C. will expand vaccine eligibility to private drivers (such as Uber drivers); logistics, delivery and courier workers and media and mass communications employees.
  • D.C. will close testing at Nationals Park after Friday, March 26, as the team prepares for Opening Day.
  • A new COVID-19 vaccination site opens Thursday in western Maryland at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets. You must preregister for a shot, then the state will contact you to book a vaccine appointment.
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools say Wednesday is the last day of mobile meal service. Starting April 7, students who continue distance learning can pick up meal packages Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here are more details.
  • Maryland moved to Phase 2A of its vaccination plan Tuesday, meaning residents age 60 or older will be eligible to book an appointment to get their shot. Here’s the timeline of expanded vaccine eligibility.
  • West Virginia opened coronavirus vaccine eligibility to all residents aged 16 and older, Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday.
  • 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. 
  • 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
  • Stimulus checks are arriving in bank accounts. Here’s information on tracking your payment and what to do if you have trouble.
  • 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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