coronavirus DMV Daily Update

Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on May 21

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

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What the Data Shows

Slight increases in the seven-day averages of new COVID-19 cases in D.C. and Virginia are something to keep an eye on as the District lifts most capacity restrictions on Friday.

D.C. added 27 new cases on Friday, which is a fairly low number. However, the seven-day average of new cases increased by one, to 38.

Hospitalizations continue to be low; currently, 78 coronavirus patients are being treated in the District.

Virginia added a low number of new cases on Friday as well: 278.

However, the commonwealth's seven-day average of new cases rose by 4 to 318, and hospitalizations jumped from 454 on Thursday to 491. The growth is a reminder that the virus is still circulating.

It’s something to keep track of as Memorial Day approaches, too: Last year, COVID-19 numbers rose after the holiday weekend.

Maryland has recently loosened restrictions, as well, and the seven-day average of new cases fell by 10 to 324. Hospitalizations also fell to 521, the lowest number this year.

The pace of vaccinations continues to slow regionwide.

As of one week ago, D.C. had partially or fully vaccinated 49% of residents. Nearly 68% of adult Marylanders and 65% of adult Virginians have gotten a shot.

News4's Cory Smith has reaction to D.C.'s new mask guidance.

Local Coronavirus Headlines

  • As of Friday, most businesses in D.C. are now able to operate without any restrictions. Restaurants, wedding venues, places of worship, retail stores and gyms may all operate at 100% capacity, with no social distancing requirements. But a few businesses will have to wait a little longer. Large sporting venues, bars and nightclubs, and music and entertainment venues won't be able to open at full capacity until June 11.
  • The Smithsonian's National Zoo has reopened, with lots of new animals for guests to see. Visitors must obtain free, timed-entry passes in advance; note that free, timed Asia Trail/panda passes are required for giant panda viewing and can be reserved on-site on the day of your visit. Visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces; fully vaccinated visitors are not required to wear face coverings outdoors.
  • Masks are no longer required outdoors in Montgomery County. People who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks indoors, except in certain places such as schools, health care facilities and on public transit. Unvaccinated people will still be required to wear masks in indoor, public spaces until May 28, when the current health order ends. Go here for full info.
  • Indoor mask mandates are lifted in Virginia and Maryland, and fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in D.C., with some exceptions. Exceptions include public transportation, health care settings and schools. Anyone not vaccinated is strongly encouraged to still wear masks in all settings. Businesses may still require masks.
  • Statewide restrictions in Maryland on indoor and outdoor gatherings and capacity limits at restaurants, malls, gyms and other businesses have been lifted. However, Montgomery County won’t fully reopen until May 29 — two weeks after 50% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam moved up the date to lift all capacity and social distancing restrictions to May 28.
  • Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force is sending mobile vaccination clinics to hard-to-reach places, Gov. Larry Hogan says. The task force is also focusing on two “hard-hit” zip codes, one in Prince George’s (20785) and one in Montgomery County (20904).
  • The West Building of the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art reopened earlier this month. Free, timed-entry passes are required.
  • People who get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the D.C. area could be rewarded with a meal from chef José Andrés. A $50 gift card will be offered to anyone who received a vaccine on or after May 8, if they dine at a participating restaurant and show their vaccine card. Find out more here.
  • 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

Here's a look at local portals that D.C.-area residents can use to sign up for vaccination appointments or to receive alerts.


As more Americans get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the number of breakthrough infections is expected to rise, too. Here’s what you need to know about this medical phenomenon.

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