Five employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration have tested positive for COVID-19 and one of them has died, officials say.
The Largo branch office, where the five employees work, has been cleaned and disinfected but remains open, according to a Maryland Department of Transportation MVA spokesperson.
Customers and staff are required to wear face coverings and participate in a brief health screening and temperature scan when they enter the Largo branch.
The employee who most recently tested positive received their test result on Oct. 10. The employee last worked at the branch on Oct. 3.
According to the MVA spokesperson, contact tracing is underway and the employees who tested positive have been instructed to self-quarantine.
A Virginia delegate plans to reintroduce a bill that would require public and private employers to provide paid quarantine leave for employees of businesses with more than 25 workers.
Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Woodbridge, says her bill was killed in a Senate committee during the Virginia General Assembly special session after being passed by the House.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam addressed his health in a news conference Tuesday for the first time since his COVID-19 diagnosis in September.
Northam and first lady Pam Northam have been cleared to return to normal work and none of his staffers have tested positive for the virus, Northam said.
“When that test comes back positive, it is frightening – this is a dangerous virus,” he said.
Northam said it was “disheartening” to see others treat the virus “cavalierly.”
Here's where we stand as the coronavirus continues to change our lives in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
What the Data Shows
D.C., Maryland and Virginia have surpassed 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday. Over the past two weeks cases have been on the rise in our region, falling in line with trends seen across the U.S.
Seven states have set new single day records for confirmed cases, and the U.S. is now averaging 50,000 new cases per day.
Virginia surpassed 150,000 cases of coronavirus as of Monday and shows concerning signs when it comes to its seven-day average.
Average daily cases in Virginia have risen from 649 on Oct. 1 to 940 cases today – an increase of nearly 300 cases. Maryland's seven-day average is up to 608 from 530 and D.C.'s is up to 62 from 36, from Oct. 1 to today.
D.C. reported a positivity rate of 2%, Maryland reported 3.1% and Virginia's rate was 4.6%.
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
- The Fauquier County School Board expects 71% of its students back in classrooms as part of a hybrid learning plan starting Nov. 9.
- Child care capacity is expanding in Maryland under phase three. Montgomery and Prince George's counties opted to remain at current operating levels.
- D.C. reported 105 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, the highest number since early June.
- Gym goers in Arlington, Virginia, will soon take spin classes on an open air training terrace instead of peddling away indoors. Take a look at how it works.
- D.C. updated its list of states subject to travel restrictions because they're considered high risk due to coronavirus. The next updated list is set to be released Monday, Oct. 19.
- A Maryland high school donated the money it raised for prom to an effort to fight COVID-19 when the pandemic forced it to cancel the party.
- D.C. plans to have high school sports return in January.
- D.C. granted permission for six indoor venues to host performances. D.C. also granted permission for the Adams Morgan business improvement district to host outdoor movies.
- A judge sentenced a Maryland man to a year in jail for throwing parties that exceeded capacity restrictions at the beginning of the governor’s coronavirus emergency order.
- D.C.'s mayor extended the city's coronavirus state of emergency on Wednesday 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 Thursday, 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 will allow 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.