The United States again smashed the record for the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in one day. According to an NBC News tally the U.S. reported more than 133,000 positive cases on Monday.
It’s the sixth day in a row that the U.S. recorded more than 100,000 new infections.
Locally, virus activity is picking up.
Seven-day rolling averages of new coronavirus cases have reached a new peak in parts of the region, hitting 1,278 in Maryland and 1,122 in Virginia for the first time.
D.C.’s average sits at 93 on Tuesday, significantly lower than the peak of 194 on May 6.
As the number of new coronavirus cases surges across D.C., Maryland and Virginia, officials are doubling down on encouraging residents to wear masks, maintain a social distance and stay home whenever possible.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam urged caution on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, as well as mask-wearing and hand-washing in an address on Tuesday.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan are expected to address the ongoing crisis during press conferences at 5 p.m.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking residents to take cautions around the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as coronavirus cases rise — and says simple behaviors like hand-washing and mask-wearing are the best tools available to slow the pandemic.
“My message today is for every Virginian,” Northam said Tuesday. “We all need to step up our vigilance and our precautions, especially as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Northam said Tuesday that the state is focused on promoting healthy behaviors rather than instituting new business closures or shutdowns.
Maryland rolled out its COVID-19 contact tracing app on Tuesday, asking residents to opt-in for an automatic alert if they have been exposed to someone with the virus.
The voluntary service works using Bluetooth technology. If you made close contact with someone in the two days prior to their positive test or symptom onset, you’ll get a notification of the date of exposure.
If you get notified of exposure, you should get tested, begin a self-quarantine and monitor yourself for symptoms.
No personal information will be revealed and the app doesn't track your location, the Maryland Department of Health says.
Android and iPhone users in Maryland starting Tuesday can expect a notification asking whether they want to receive exposure alerts, the state says.
Android users must download a free app and iPhone users can agree to join in their settings.
MD COVID Alert is designed to protect users' privacy and personal information, the Maryland Department of Health said in a press release. Users’ information will remain anonymous, officials said.
The alert system will complement more traditional contact tracing.
MD COVID Alert is compatible with D.C.'s contact tracing notification app and the apps in nine other states, including nearby Pennsylvania. However, it is not yet compatible with Virginia's contacting tracing app.
The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday approved some new restrictions proposed by Executive Marc Elrich.
The restrictions include barring gatherings of more than 25 people and reducing capacity limits to 25% for food service establishments, gyms, museums, retail stores and religious facilities. Here are more details.
Officials hope rolling back reopening will stem the rise of new cases and hospitalizations that have recently troubled Montgomery County.
Coronavirus Cases by Neighborhood in D.C.
Source: D.C. Coronavirus Hub Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Last updated Nov. 24
What the Data Shows
The latest data from the COVID Tracking Project shows that coronavirus cases are up in every state in the U.S. this week.
Infections in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have increased by 4%, 35% and 10%, respectively, compared to last week.
Maryland’s seven-day rolling average is the highest it’s ever been at 1,278 cases. Earlier this week, Maryland surpassed Virginia’s rolling average for the first time since mid-June.
Cases in Virginia have been climbing steadily over the past month. Daily new cases were in the mid-800s in October and reached 1,192 as of Tuesday. After a rise in cases in late October, D.C.’s moving average has leveled to an average of about 90 new infections daily.
Hospitalizations in the region are also alarmingly high. In Maryland, hospitalizations (761) are the highest they’ve been since mid-June. In D.C., 109 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, the highest count since early July.
Positivity rates in the region are also up. D.C. reported a positivity rate of 3.1%, Maryland reported 5.24% and Virginia reported 6.2% on Tuesday.
Maryland’s positivity rate is up by more than one percentage point since the start of the month.
The map below shows the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed per 100,000 residents.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- Coronavirus hospitalizations in Maryland this week reached the highest level since June. Here's how the state is responding.
- D.C. now requires travelers from all but four states get tested for COVID-19, once before travel and again if they plan to stay in the District for more than three days. Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii and Vermont are the exceptions.
- Almost 100 employees at motor vehicle branches around the D.C. area have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Gov. Ralph Northam addressed rising coronavirus cases in Southwest Virginia at a press conference.
- A man who refused to wear a face mask at an early voting site in Maryland was arrested and faces misdemeanor charges, officials say.
- Maryland and Virginia released plans Oct. 20 for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, but D.C. is staying mum for now.
- Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging D.C. residents who use iPhone or Android smartphones to opt in for a new COVID-19 contact-tracing app.
- Most new COVID-19 cases in D.C. come from social events, according to data presented by the District's health department.
- Montgomery County pulled waivers allowing restaurants to sell alcohol to midnight, limiting service to end at 10 p.m. The move came in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
- D.C.'s mayor extended the city's coronavirus state of emergency to last through the end of the year.
- Maryland child care providers can return to the full teacher-to-child ratios for which they are licensed, state officials said, and some nursing homes will be able to resume indoor visits.
- Montgomery and Prince George's counties are among those that did not enter phase three with the state of Maryland. Here's a roundup of counties in our area.
- Prince George's County allowed tanning salons, banquet halls and other businesses to open with restrictions. Officials recently adjusted some other rules too. Read more.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan authorized all public schools in the state to begin “safely” reopening because state metrics on the coronavirus show improvements. The state “strongly suggests” that local school districts bring students back into schools but cannot force them to do so, Hogan said. Montgomery and Prince George's schools both affirmed that they were not altering plans to hold classes online throughout the first half of the school year.
- Prince George's County revisited its phase two reopening executive order due to an uptick in coronavirus cases, according to the county executive's office.
- Virginia entered phase three reopening July 1, loosening restrictions on restaurants, stores, gyms and pools. Northam has said more restrictions could be implemented if cases continue to grow.
- D.C. entered phase two June 22, allowing indoor dining, gyms, libraries and houses of worship to reopen with restrictions.
- Montgomery County entered phase two June 19, reopening with restrictions gyms, houses of worship, indoor dining and retail.
How to Stay Safe
There are ways to lower your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are guidelines from the CDC:
- Anyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask or face covering. Keep it over your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands often. When you do, scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. As a backup, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who lives outside your home. That means staying six feet away from anyone outside your circle, even if you're wearing masks.
- Always cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.