Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on March 8

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

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D.C. residents and essential workers will be able to preregister for COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Wednesday. 

Only certain groups are being asked to preregister, and even once you’re preregistered, it could be months until you get an appointment. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that the old portal system that crashed for weeks as people tried to get appointments will no longer be used. Residents and essential workers will go to a new website instead. The system will be open initially to residents 65 and older, people with qualifying medical conditions and essential workers. If you’re not part of one of those groups, don’t sign up yet; that could slow down the system for everyone else, the mayor said.

Once a shot is available for you, you will be sent a link to schedule your appointment. You’ll have 48 hours to sign up and then the link will expire. 

The high-capacity vaccination sites will be open on a rotating basis, depending on vaccine allotments from the federal government. 

CDC Has New Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Americans

This week marks one year since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Soon after, schools and businesses closed and people were all told to stay home.

Now, while we are still dealing with a high level of infection, there is hope in sight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their first recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals on how they can begin to visit with others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance aimed at clarifying what activities individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccines can and cannot do.

The recommendations say fully vaccinated individuals can visit with others who have also been inoculated, and can do so indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing.

Fully vaccinated people can also visit with "unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing."

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.

Vaccinations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

More than 90 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. and the pace seems to be picking up nearly daily with three vaccines now available.

In our area, changes are being made in some spots to make the vaccination process smoother.

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is helping to boost local supply.

The District’s high-capacity COVID-19 vaccination clinics received rave reviews from many residents who showed up for their one-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The clinic located at the Walter Washington Convention Center was set to provide at least 2,500 people with vaccines on its first day, Saturday. Some said there were no lines and no waiting, and there were even those who said they got their shot early. 

“It was a model process. It was easy. It was wide open. It felt very safe and very professional. I’m really grateful to everyone involved,” one woman said.

“They finally got it right!” another woman said. 

Health workers will be administering 1,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mass vaccination site in Woodbridge, Virginia, on Monday.

The Prince William Health District is also launching a new vaccination scheduling system through a program called PrepMod. Health officials say the pre-registration process takes 15 minutes to complete.

Compared to the rest of Northern Virginia, the Prince William Health District vaccination rate per 100,000 people currently ranks last.

Vaccinations at Woodbridge on Monday are by appointment only and will last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

News4's Darcy Spencer reports on how the mass vaccination site in Woodbridge is gearing up for a busy day.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the state administered more than 50,000 vaccines in a single day for the first time on Sunday, setting a record for the state.

Maryland also surpassed 1.5 million total vaccinations. About 6 million people live in the state.

Nearly half of all Marylanders age 65 and over have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

Vaccine Hesitancy Persists in Maryland, Poll Finds

Despite the progress being made with the vaccine's rollout throughout our region, some Marylanders are still reluctant to take the coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll.

A new Goucher College poll found that 36% of Black residents and 31% of white residents said they either planned to wait and see how the vaccine worked before getting it, would only get it if they were required to or had no plans of taking the shot.

Nearly two-thirds of Marylanders surveyed had received at least their first dose of the vaccine or planned to get a shot as soon as it became available to them.

Obesity Linked to COVID-19 Hospitalization Risk, According to CDC Study

A majority of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died from COVID-19 have been overweight or obese, according to a CDC study that looked at 238 U.S. hospitals.

Among 148,494 adults who received a COVID-19 diagnosis during an emergency department or inpatient from March to December, 71,491 were hospitalized. Of those who were admitted, 27.8% were overweight and 50.2% were obese, according to the CDC report.

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or more while obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more.

The agency found the risk for hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths was lowest among individuals with BMIs under 25.

What the Data Shows

D.C. announced another 160 cases of the virus and five lives lost. The seven-day rolling average of new cases increased, as did hospitalizations.

Maryland announced 716 more cases of the virus and the deaths of eight more people. The seven-day average was up slightly. Hospitalizations fell.

Virginia announced 636 more cases of the virus. Thirteen more people died. The seven-day average decreased although new hospitalizations increased slightly.

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.

Local Coronavirus Headlines

Reopening Tracker

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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