Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Nov. 22

Here's what to know about the coronavirus data, resources and reopenings across the D.C. area

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An additional 190 D.C. residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the District’s count to over 20,000 infections. As of Sunday, 136 people are being treated for the virus in D.C. hospitals.

Infections continue to surge elsewhere in our region as D.C., Maryland and Virginia are on track to surpass a total of 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases by Monday. 

The first COVID-19 immunizations could happen as soon as Dec. 12, according to the head of the U.S. effort to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of the Operation Warp Speed, says plans are to ship vaccines to states within 24 hours of expected FDA approval and for vaccinations to begin on the second day after approval, Dec. 12.

In general, the vaccine will first become available for "high-priority" groups until production can meet demand.

High-priority groups generally include health care workers, first responders, the elderly or immunocompromised individuals, with some variation by state.

D.C.’s Health Department is asking residents to fill out a survey in order to determine how many people would be willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

The online survey also asks how concerned residents are about the pandemic and whether they’ve received a flu shot yet. 

The Elaine Ellis Center of Health rolled COVID-19 testing into its annual tradition of handing out Thanksgiving dinners to families in need Saturday.

"Given the current rise and surge of the virus, we wanted to be as strategic as possible in offering COVID-19 testing while they wait for their turkeys and all their sides," said Timothy Walker, Chief Operating Officer.

"We want to maximize the opportunity to touch the lives of the patients we serve," Walker said.

A local health center rolled COVID-19 testing into its annual tradition of handing out Thanksgiving dinners to families in need. News4's Derrick Ward reports.

The United States topped 12 million cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The country recorded more than 200,000 new infections over the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths is 255,567.

In some much needed positive news, data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project indicates that 10 states are reporting a downturn in cases compared to last week, a far cry from the unilateral increase reported in recent days.

The FDA has green-lit emergency authorization for Regeneron's COVID-19 antibody treatment, the experimental drug cocktail given to President Donald Trump when he contracted the coronavirus in October.

The drug has been shown to be effective in preventing severe illness in people infected with the coronavirus, NBC News reports.

Regeneron's drug was approved to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 cases for both adults and children over the age of 12 who are at risk of developing severe symptoms.

What the Data Shows

D.C. reported an additional 190 COVID-19 cases Sunday. No new deaths were recorded.

The seven-day average metric indicates that cases have leveled-off recently, with cases remaining in the mid 160s since Thursday. However, that’s still double the number of daily cases D.C. reported at the start of the month.

Cases continue to surge dramatically in Maryland where an additional 2,222 cases and 18 deaths were reported. 

The state’s seven-day average is 2,323, nearly 1,500 cases higher than the start of November. 

In Virginia, 1,745 new cases and no additional deaths were recorded Sunday. The state’s seven-day average (1,721) is more than 700 cases higher than it was on Nov. 1. 

A total of 136 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in D.C.

Maryland reported 1,237 hospitalizations and Virginia has 1,118, a decrease from Saturday's reported 1,158 hospitalizations.

Although several key metrics have been headed in the wrong direction for weeks, representing thousands of sickened Marylanders, testing is increasing.

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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.
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