Montgomery County officials say they may have to reinstate some restrictions if COVID-19 infections continue to rise.
The county’s test positivity rate is 3.2%, which is low but higher than last week. More concerning is the number of cases: They're now averaging more than 10 cases per 100,000, which puts on hold any further reopening plans.
“We were preparing an update to our executive order this week that would allow additional activities,” said Earl Stoddard of Montgomery County Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Those plans have now been put "on pause" as the public health team investigates the uptick in coronavirus cases, Stoddard said.
The Fairfax County School Board met for more than five hours Thursday night, and members butted heads on a pilot program to bring students back to class.
Under the school superintendent's plan, students would be physically present in a classroom two days a week and learn remotely two days, or they could opt for an entirely virtual program.
Doctors are warning that a condition previously only reported among children diagnosed with COVID-19 is now appearing in some adults with the disease, NBC News reports.
MIS-A, or "multi-system inflammatory syndrome in adults," is the adult form of the dangerous condition that caused inflammation around the heart and other organs and a rash, called MIS-C in children.
A large study led by the World Health Organization suggests that remdesivir, an antiviral drug that became a standard of care in the U.S. and elsewhere did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The Trump White House has installed two political operatives with no public health background at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try to control the information it releases about the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
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. reported 89 new cases of coronavirus and three more lives lost on Friday. Maryland reported 781 cases and four deaths, and Virginia reported 1,009 cases and twelve deaths.
The seven-day average in the region is still high, falling in line with national trends of rising virus cases. D.C. reported a seven-day average of 59 cases, Maryland reported 596 cases, and Virginia has 885 cases.
Hospitalizations in the region remain high. There are currently 673 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Virginia, 416 in Maryland and 86 in D.C.
D.C. reported a testing positivity rate of 1.9%, Maryland reported 3.09% and Virginia's rate was 4.8%.
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
- Most new COVID-19 cases in D.C. come from social events, according to data presented Wednesday by the District's health department.
- Montgomery County could roll back reopening after seeing an increase in infections.
- Five employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration tested positive for COVID-19 and one of them has died, officials say.
- 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, although Montgomery and Prince George's counties opted to remain at current operating levels.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.