Tighter coronavirus-related restrictions are now under effect in Prince George’s County and in Virginia, as officials try to get ahead of elevated case numbers. Changes previously went into effect in Maryland.
Virginia on Monday reported 2,071 new coronavirus cases, breaking its previous record. Officials say the number is so high in part because it includes some results from over the weekend.
In Prince George’s County, masks must be worn outdoors, and capacity will be restricted at many businesses. Gathering sizes will also be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, or one person or household per 200 square feet.
New capacity limits will be implemented across many Prince George’s County businesses, including:
- Indoor dining establishments now limited to 25% capacity
- Outdoor dining limited to 50% capacity
- Bowling alleys and gyms limited to 25% capacity
- Retail capped at 50% capacity
- Churches are limited to 125 persons outside or 25% capacity inside
Masks and face coverings will be required outdoors unless someone is vigorously exercising. The rule applies to most people older than 5 years old.
In Virginia, anyone 5 years old or older must wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and capacity at indoor and outdoor gatherings will be further restricted.
Attendance at indoor and outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 250 people down to 25, and the age at which children must wear masks in indoor public spaces will be lowered from age 10 to age five. Alcohol sales must end at 10 p.m.
The owners of The Renegade restaurant and music venue in Arlington were worried about the impact of the alcohol sales cutoff time.
“It’s going to hurt us dramatically. We are a late-night business here in Clarendon. A huge portion of our sales come in that 10 to 2 o’clock hour on the weekends,” managing partner Seamus Phillips said. “We do not know how we’re going to get around this scenario in order to keep our doors open.”
The following measures are now in effect in Virginia:
Reduction in public and private gatherings: All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings.
Expansion of mask mandate: All Virginians age five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals age 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
Strengthened enforcement within essential retail businesses: All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings and enhanced cleaning. While certain essential retail businesses have been required to adhere to these regulations as a best practice, violations will now be enforceable through the Virginia Department of Health as a Class One misdemeanor.
On-site alcohol curfew: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. Virginia law does not distinguish between restaurants and bars, however, under current restrictions, individuals that choose to consume alcohol prior to 10 p.m. must be served as in a restaurant and remain seated at tables six feet apart.
D.C. Public Schools will open select schools for in-person remote learning starting Wednesday. Canvas Academics and Real Engagement (CARE) classrooms will be able to accommodate about 600 students, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said at a news conference Monday.
Students who previously accepted offers for in-person learning seats have received offers for these seats, he said. Amid staffing problems and safety concerns, DCPS previously dropped a plan to bring some elementary students back into schools earlier this month.
Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she wasn't not ruling out the possibility of rolling back some elements of phase two reopening if the impact of the virus worsens.
Coronavirus Cases by Neighborhood in D.C.
Source: D.C. Coronavirus Hub Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Last updated Dec. 9
What the Data Shows
Coronavirus cases and deaths are still climbing in D.C., Maryland and Virginia — with big jumps in cases in Virginia and Maryland.
D.C. announced 87 more cases on Monday; no deaths were reported.
Maryland announced 1,726 cases of the virus and seven more deaths.
Virginia announced 2,071 more cases and six more deaths. It's the first time Virginia reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus diagnoses in a single day.
Over the previous week, the average number of cases added daily has risen from 1,278 to 1,755.
Hospitalizations were about steady in D.C. but elevated in Maryland and Virginia, with 101 people hospitalized in D.C., 985 in Maryland and 1,071 in Virginia.
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
- Prince George's County is tightening restrictions and requiring masks be worn outdoors.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday how the state will allocate about $70 million in federal aid as the state braces for months of rising coronavirus cases.
- 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 has reduced 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 last 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.
- Most new COVID-19 cases in D.C. come from social events, according to data presented by the District's health department.
- Virginia announced new measures to fight COVID-19 as cases of the virus have spiked across the country.
- Maryland rolled back capacity limits at indoor dining establishments and urged people against traveling to states where coronavirus is spreading too fast.
- Montgomery County 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.
- 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.
How to Stay Safe
There are ways to lower your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are guidelines from the CDC:
- 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.