As the number of COVID-19 cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia continues to climb, the region is rolling back on some reopening plans.
D.C. Public Schools has backtracked on its plan to reopen elementary schools to some students on Nov. 9, the chancellor announced Monday. Students will continue at-home learning.
“We have heard feedback from many in our community about #ReopenStrong plans, and we will use this moment to adjust our timeline and staffing plans for reopening,” Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said in a message to families.
D.C.’s health department added California, New Jersey and Oregon to its high-risk list early Monday, bringing the total to 42 states.
People who make non-essential trips to D.C. from these states are required to self-quarantine for 14 days because of coronavirus levels in those locations.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in planting white flags to honor COVID-19 victims at a memorial at the D.C. Armory on Monday.
The public memorial, titled "In America, How Could This Happen" was conceptualized by D.C.-area artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg and brought to life with the help of dozens of community volunteers.
The installation team and volunteers have planted 230,843 flags on the Armory Parade Grounds as of Monday.
"As of today, the artist and scores of community members will have caught up with the national death rate and, sadly, will be ordering additional flags as the number continues to surge," the team wrote in a press release.
In Fairfax County, a pastor who barely survived COVID-19 spoke with News4’s Derrick Ward about his recovery and the tough road still ahead.
"A lot of people don't realize, you get out of the thick of it, but there are things like brain fog and low endurance and limb pain... that people still have to live with," Pastor Kenny Baldwin said.
President Donald Trump suggested Monday that he will fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after Tuesday’s election, sparking chants of “Fire Fauci” from his supporters at a campaign rally in Florida.
Trump’s comments come after Fauci criticized the White House’s response to the coronavirus, saying the U.S. “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” to stem rising COVID-19 infections in the winter months ahead.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ child care guidelines were updated Oct. 30 to include congestion, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea on its COVID-19 symptoms checklist, following questions from The Associated Press.
The symptoms were initially not included in the October update, which the pediatrics' group called an oversight.
Medical experts are acknowledging that the lines are blurry for kids presenting symptoms of COVID-19, the flu or common colds and infections.
What the Data Shows
COVID-19 cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are trending upward.
D.C. announced 122 more cases on Saturday, the highest single-day increase since early June. The rolling seven-day average was 89 cases on Monday, 29 cases higher than a week ago.
D.C.'s positivity rate surged to 3% on Monday, nearly double the rate from the beginning of October.
Maryland reported a rolling seven-day average of 879 Monday, up from 670 a week ago and the highest count since early August. Maryland's positivity rate is also up to 3.94%, up from 2.93% at the beginning of October.
Virginia's seven-day rolling average is at 1,012 cases – the highest count since mid-August. Virginia's positivity rate is 5.8%, following a steady climb up from 5% at the start of October.
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
- Almost 100 employees at motor vehicle branches around the D.C. area have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Trick-or-treaters got creative on Halloween to keep the holiday safe despite the virus.
- Gov. Ralph Northam addressed rising coronavirus cases in Southwest Virginia at a press conference Wednesday.
- A man who refused to wear a face mask at an early voting site in Maryland was arrested Tuesday 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 could roll back reopening after seeing an increase in infections.
- 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.