Leaders across the D.C. area are addressing the recent increase in COVID-19 cases by calling for continued vigilance through mask-wearing and social distancing. Some are taking more stringent steps.
At a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan urged everyone to avoid gatherings and to "just wear the damn masks" as cases continue to surge in the state. The state surpassed 150,000 cases on Friday.
"Maryland just entered the red zone for cases. Our average cases per 100,000 has risen to 15, which is a 22% increase in just the past week," Hogan said.
Coronavirus Cases in Maryland, by Zipcode
Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser echoed similar sentiments Thursday and went one step further, introducing new COVID-19 restrictions.
Effective Monday, anyone who visits D.C. from a state that city officials consider high-risk must get a COVID-19 test before traveling and again if they will be here for more than three days, officials announced.
“We want people to be safe and smart if they do travel,” Bowser said.
Coronavirus Cases by Neighborhood in D.C.
Source: D.C. Coronavirus Hub Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Last updated Nov. 24
Gov. Jim Justice also addressed COVID-19 cases in the state of West Virginia on Wednesday, calling on all West Virginians to take advantage of free testing opportunities across the state lest they “be faced with the funeral of a loved one.”
More than 400 restaurants in D.C. are receiving "Streatery Winter Ready Grants" in order to prepare their outdoor dining space for the winter weather, officials announced Thursday.
A grand total of $2.6 million has been allocated for the grants, with each restaurant set to receive up to $6,000 to purchase materials like tents, heaters, furniture and more.
New COVID-19 restrictions in Montgomery County are on hold after the county's council delayed their vote on a proposed executive order until next Tuesday, officials say.
The order, which would restrict indoor activities and limit gatherings, was issued Wednesday by County Executive Marc Elrich and was expected to be approved by the council Thursday.
Although the executive order is on hold, starting Friday evening, the late night sale of alcohol in the county will be suspended, Montgomery County's security director announced. Restaurants and bars that have been serving alcohol until midnight will have to cut off sales at 10 p.m.
The University of Maryland's College Park campus will move to mostly virtual learning after the school’s Thanksgiving break due to concerns about rising COVID-19 cases.
The school’s President, Darryll Pines, said Thursday in a letter to the university community that students traveling from campus for the holiday should plan to stay home. Students who spend the holiday in the dorms can stay.
Charles County Public Schools has paused its phase two reopening plan due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the region. In-person learning will not resume until after Jan. 1, the school says.
Effective Nov. 9, employees who were teleworking under phase one will be permitted to return to telework, the school says.
What the Data Shows
COVID-19 cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are trending upward.
D.C. announced 110 more cases and two more lives lost to the virus on Friday. The rolling seven-day average was up to 93 cases on Friday, the highest it's been in five months.
Maryland recorded 11 lives lost and 1,541 new COVID-19 infections, the third-highest single-day increase recorded in the state. Maryland's rolling seven-day average is at 1,027.
Virginia recorded 1,227 new cases and eight lives lost Thursday. Virginia's seven-day rolling average is at 1,013 cases.
More and more people in our region are also being hospitalized for COVID-19. As of Friday, 791 Virginians, 609 Marylanders and 79 D.C. residents are in the hospital due to the virus.
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
- Anyone visiting D.C. from a state that city officials consider high-risk must get a COVID-19 test before traveling and again after arrival if they plan to stay for more than three days, officials announced Thursday.
- 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.