Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Oct. 14

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

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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.

Thousands of volunteers are taking part in the final phase of a coronavirus vaccine trial that is being watched closely by scientists around the world. News4's Doreen Gentzler speaks with Brandon Benavides,a writer and producer for News4 and volunteer in the Moderna clinical trial.

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

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

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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.
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