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

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

Maryland says it’s averaging about 55,000 COVID-19 vaccinations daily, but the case numbers are persistently headed in the wrong direction.

The weekly case average rose Wednesday to 1,249. That’s the highest figure this month and there’s no indications of slowing as April approaches.  

Maryland’s hospitals have been reporting high numbers of COVID-19 admissions this week — more than 100 most days, including 158 on Wednesday.

D.C. counted 100 new cases on Wednesday. The weekly average number of new cases decreased by one, to 131.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization suspended the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under the age of 55 on Monday after reports of potential blood clots in users.

Virginia reported a low number of new cases on Wednesday, 598. It’s the lowest number seen since October, although sometimes uneven reporting causes spikes and dips in daily case numbers.

The weekly average did move in the right direction, falling below 1,000 for the first time in a week. It’s now at 977.

In a good sign, the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients fell in Virginia and D.C.

Local Coronavirus News

  • Montgomery College is ready to open the doors to its Bioscience Education Center on the Germantown campus as a vaccination site, eventually hoping to give thousands of vaccinations daily.
  • New numbers from AARP show Virginia is struggling to control the coronavirus in nursing homes with the second highest COVID-19 death rate in the country.
  • Maryland moves into the next phase of its vaccination plan Tuesday, expanding eligibility to residents who have a qualifying disability or medical condition. Here's how to get your shot.
  • In D.C., a new group of people is now eligible for the vaccine as of Monday. The group includes taxi and ride share drivers, those working in delivery and courier service, and media and mass communications employees. Anyone eligible should preregister for an appointment.
  • D.C.'s public libraries entered Phase Two of their reopening plan Monday. Select locations are open at reduced capacity. You may visit open locations to return materials, pick up a hold, check out books from the Grab-n-Go selection, get a library card or partake in some other services. However, you will not be able to browse the collections or sit and read or work at a table or in a lounge area.
  • One of the largest concert promoters in the area is using its truck that once sold tickets to collect donations of food.
  • Access to the famous Tidal Basin cherry blossoms could be closed off if the crowds don't maintain social distancing. The National Park Service says it’s prioritizing public health.
  • Maryland moved to Phase 2A of its vaccination plan, meaning residents age 60 or older are eligible to book appointments to get shots. 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.
  • The Virginia Department of Health Epidemiology team said 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 was 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.
  • 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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