A troubling trend shows daily coronavirus case numbers jumping up in the D.C. area, a sign that the pandemic is worsening as we get deeper into fall.
D.C. diagnosed 206 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number since May.
Public testing sites at firehouses in the District are closed on Wednesday due to Veterans Day.
Maryland officials have revealed the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and case numbers are at their highest since June.
In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam warned that coronavirus cases and the positivity rate is rising, both bad signs. He urged Virginians to not get complacent about wearing masks, frequently washing hands and keeping up social distancing.
What the rise in cases means for your family depends on where you live.
In some places, pandemic restrictions are being reinstated. In others, schools are moving forward with plans to send children back to classrooms.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the state is in the “danger zone.” Starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, commercial food establishments must reduce indoor seating capacity from 75% to 50%. Most gatherings are now capped at 25 people and more state employees are being told to telework.
Hogan did not change existing rules on religious gatherings, but said that counties can chose to take stricter limits.
In early September, Hogan was pushing for D.C.’s suburban counties to reopen and was met with resistance.
Before that announcement, Montgomery County had already approved even stricter capacity limits.
Coronavirus Cases by Neighborhood in D.C.
Source: D.C. Coronavirus Hub Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Last updated Nov. 24
Just as Maryland moves to reinstate restrictions, some school districts in Virginia are preparing to welcome students back to class.
Loudoun County’s school board unanimously approved a plan Tuesday night to launch the next phase of its hybrid learning model.
Starting Dec. 1, students in third, fourth and fifth grades will be given the option to return to the classroom.
About 300 high school seniors in specialty programs will also return to class next month.
Those students will begin what the county is calling part time in-person instruction, putting them in classrooms two days a week.
Loudoun began hybrid learning for kindergarten through second grade two weeks ago.
Students in sixth grade and high school won't return to the building for hybrid learning until Jan. 21.
Before the vote, parents and students called on the School Board to approve these in-person options.
Starting Wednesday, parents will receive an online survey about their preferences for hybrid learning.
Starting Wednesday, Montgomery County Public Schools will email families a survey asking them to identify their learning model preference.
Choices include part time in-person instruction or fully virtual learning.
Families have until Dec. 3 to fill it out.
The United States Naval Academy game against Memphis has been postponed after several positive cases at the Naval Academy and quarantines that followed.
It will be the second game missed in a row.
The Midshipmen have not been on the field since Nov. 2 and haven't had regular practice since Oct. 29.
What the Data Shows
Overall, the D.C. region reported its largest-ever increase in confirmed cases.
D.C. had 206 new cases, the largest increase since May, Maryland reported 1,714 new cases, which is also the largest increase since May. Virginia reported 1,254 the highest single-day increase in a month.
Seven-day rolling averages are up across the board. D.C. is at 111, up by 18 cases from Tuesday. Maryland is up 102 cases from one day ago and Virginia is up 58 cases.
Maryland and Virginia also both reached hospitalization counts not seen since June, of 805 and 903, respectively. In D.C., 112 people are currently hospitalized.
According to data from the COVID Tracking project, every state in the U.S. recorded an increase in infections this week compared to last week.
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
- Eight players on the University of Maryland football team tested positive for COVID-19. The game against Ohio State has been canceled.
- Maryland released a new contact tracing app and at 5 p.m. Wednesday reduces indoor operations for bars and restaurants from 75% to 50% in response to rising coronavirus cases and increased hospitalizations.
- A review by the News4 I-Team has found concerns that Prince George’s County, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state, has received what some are calling an underwhelming share of the more than $165 million in aid thus far.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maryland rolled back capacity limits at indoor dining establishments and urged people against traveling to states where coronavirus is spreading too fast.
- Montgomery County has reduced capacity limits at many businesses, including for indoor dining, to 25%. The county previously stopped giving waivers for alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said that his administration is focused on promoting healthy behaviors such as mask-wearing, frequent hand washing and social distancing rather than rolling back reopening as cases rise.
- 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.