As the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the United States, some positive news also emerged Monday morning.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without evidence of prior infection. The vaccine could be submitted for FDA approval soon.
“I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years, if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told CNBC’s Meg Tirell on "Squawk Box."
The news sent stocks soaring to record highs even as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 10 million.
Meanwhile, cases in the D.C. region continue to increase.
D.C. topped more than 18,000 cases of the virus, and the positivity rate hit 3%.
Coronavirus Cases by Neighborhood in D.C.
Source: D.C. Coronavirus Hub Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Last updated Nov. 24
As of Monday, anyone who visits D.C. from anywhere in the United States, except from four states that include Maryland and Virginia, must get tested for COVID-19, according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's order.
Visitors must get a COVID-19 test up to 72 hours before traveling and again if they will be in D.C. for more than three days. The restrictions do not apply to visitors from Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii or Vermont.
Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced the new restrictions on Thursday.
“We want people to be safe and smart if they do travel,” she said.
Maryland reported its highest-ever rolling seven-day average of cases, at 1,197, on Monday.
On Sunday, Gov. Larry Hogan flagged an increase in the number of cases and the positivity rate. Eight jurisdictions had positivity rates over 5%.
Hogan urged Marylanders to wear face masks and keep their distance.
Hospitalizations in the state are also increasing at an alarming rate. More than 700 people in Maryland were hospitalized with the COVID-19 as of Monday morning, a single-day increase of 52 and the highest since mid-June, the state reported.
Of the 707 people in the hospital, the state reported 168 were in intensive care. Hospitalizations have climbed in recent weeks. On Oct. 1, there were 331 people hospitalized.
Cases in Virginia are rising, too. The state's rolling seven-day average was at 1,104 – the highest number in three months.
Many Fauquier County students returned to school Monday for the first time in months. About 7,000 students are back in class for in-person, hybrid instruction.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) posted information regarding COVID-19 impacts to its personnel. As of Sunday, 68 known FCFRD personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, of which 64 are reported to have made a full recovery.
Not including personnel who tested positive for COVID-19, three other FCFRD members are currently in quarantine.
FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus, the department wrote in a newsletter.
What the Data Shows
COVID-19 cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are trending upward.
D.C. announced 86 more cases of the virus and one additional death. The rolling seven-day average of cases is at 93, more than 30 cases higher than two weeks ago.
Maryland announced 1,375 more cases. Nine more people died. The state had a rolling seven-day average of 1,197 cases, which is the highest on record.
Virginia announced 1,021 new cases and six more deaths Monday. Virginia recorded a seven-day average of 1,104.
Hospitalizations are up to 707 in Maryland, the highest count recorded since mid-June. In Virginia, 824 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. In D.C., 104 people are hospitalized.
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.
- Gov. Ralph Northam addressed rising coronavirus cases in Southwest Virginia at a press conference.
- A man who refused to wear a face mask at an early voting site in Maryland was arrested 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 pulled waivers allowing restaurants to sell alcohol to midnight, limiting service to end at 10 p.m. The move came in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
- 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.