The D.C. region topped 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday. D.C. Maryland and Virginia recorded 4,386 new infections over the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths is 8,594.
D.C.’s mayor announced several new COVID-19 restrictions which go into effect Wednesday.
The limit for outdoor gatherings has been reduced from 50 to 25 people, indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people, and alcohol sales and consumption in restaurants must end at 10 p.m.
The number of people inside houses of worship has been reduced to 50 people, or 25% capacity, depending on which number is smaller.
All indoor group exercise classes, all outdoor group classes with 25 or more people and the District's live entertainment pilot program will be suspended.
“We hope to help and guide Washingtonians to limit their exposure so that we can get the virus under control in our city until we get to the other side where the vaccine will be widely available,” Bowser said at a press conference Monday.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Maryland would be launching a widescale COVID-19 compliance education and enforcement operation ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Starting on Wednesday, additional state troopers will be assigned to every Maryland county, and in central, downtown locations, to investigate reports of coronavirus violations and to prevent superspreader events, Hogan announced at a press conference Monday.
The Maryland State Police are also ramping up their coronavirus hotline where residents can call in to report unsafe activities or public health order violations, Hogan said. Residents can call 833-979-2266 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns.
Additionally, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, emergency alerts will be sent to Marylanders’ cell phones to remind them of critical COVID-19 prevention measures and restrictions.
Hogan also echoed advice given by the CDC which urged against holiday travel.
“We want all of our families across the state to enjoy their holidays, but we want them to do it in a safe way,” the governor said.
As cases surge in the region, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich called for Maryland to return to phase one in a tweet sent early Monday morning.
"We're in danger of overwhelming hospitals, the projections for MD aren't good -small steps won't bend the curve in the right direction," Elrich wrote. "It's not blue or red, it's all of us."
Earlier this month, the Montgomery County Council approved tightened coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions as cases and hospitalizations rise.
Maryland also implemented new restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants, moving back into phase 2 capacity as of Friday, Nov. 20.
Monday also marks the first day that the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are once again closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Institution’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff. We will use this time to reassess, monitor and explore additional risk-mitigation measures," museum officials said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
No reopening date was announced.
Airport screenings climbed to an eight-month high over the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving, with more than 1 million people each on Friday and Sunday, according to the TSA.
The first COVID-19 immunizations could happen as soon as Dec. 12, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of the Operation Warp Speed.
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 United States topped 12 million cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, but in some much needed positive news, data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project indicates that 11 states are reporting a downturn in cases compared to last week, a far cry from the unilateral increase reported in recent days.
What the Data Shows
D.C. reported 139 COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths Monday.
D.C.'s seven-day average is at 175, more than double the number of daily cases D.C. reported at the start of the month.
Maryland reported an additional 1,604 cases and 14 deaths. For the first time in about three weeks, the state's seven-day average decreased Monday. Maryland is currently at an average of 2,306 COVID-19 cases daily.
In Virginia, 2,643 new cases were reported Monday, the largest daily increase ever reported. One additional deaths was recorded in the state. The state’s seven-day average jumped to 1,802 from 1,721 on Sunday.
A total of 135 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in D.C. Maryland reported 1,276 hospitalizations and Virginia has 1,130.
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- Fairfax County health officials released a list of holiday coronavirus guidelines on, breaking up activities into varying risk categories.
- Some Fairfax County students have returned to all-virtual learning amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
- A total of 51,510 coronavirus tests were administered in Maryland on Friday, the highest-ever on a single day.
- The Smithsonian is shutting down its museums and the National Zoo once again due to recent spikes in COVID-19 cases.
- A program that provided extended unemployment benefits to out-of-work Virginians will end Saturday.
- COVID-19 numbers continue to paint a dire picture for Black Americans, and there is an ongoing effort in the Black community to increase testing.
- The Metro board voted Thursday to close a budget gap by changing how often trains run.
- The University of Maryland’s football game against Michigan State University scheduled for Saturday has been canceled as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the Terrapins’ locker room.
- Officials have reversed a decision to cancel the annual Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery. The event, held in December, will happen after all.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maryland will tighten restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants starting Friday at 5 p.m.
- All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close because of rising COVID-19 cases, officials announced Thursday.
- Hours before some Fairfax County students were set to return to in-person learning on Tuesday, the school district said that they needed to delay the plan.
- Courts throughout Maryland partially shut down Monday due to the pandemic.
- Virginia announced new measures to fight COVID-19 as cases of the virus have spiked across the country.
- Prince George's County has tightened restrictions and requires masks to be worn outdoors.
- 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.
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.