coronavirus

Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Oct. 19

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

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More people are donning masks and boarding planes, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the U.S.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Monday the number of passengers screened in a single day for flights nationwide topped one million on Sunday, the highest number of passengers since the onset of the pandemic in March.

The TSA also said that six million passengers were screened at checkpoints in the U.S. during the week of Oct. 12 through Oct. 18, setting another milestone.

“TSA has been diligent in our efforts to ensure checkpoints are clean, safe and healthy for frontline workers and airline passengers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. 

For D.C. residents, however, traveling to most places comes with a price – a 14-day self-quarantine period.

D.C.’s health department added eight states to the high-risk list early Monday: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

This brings D.C.'s list of high-risk states requiring quarantine to a total of 39.

Controversial new research says it's virtually impossible to contract COVID-19 on a flight if you stay seated and wear a mask. News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss digs into the study.

While some are opening up to the idea of traveling for the holidays, public health experts like Andrew Noymer, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, still urge caution and suggest staying home.

"When people move all around the country, they bring their microbes with them," Noymer said in an interview with LX News.

"So, I'm worried about people traveling from higher prevalence regions to lower prevalence regions and bringing the virus with them."


For the first time since March, some students head back into Fairfax County Public Schools as a pilot program with concurrent learning begins Monday. Students in schools and at home will get the same live instruction. “It’s kind of an experiment,” county Federation of Teachers President Tina Williams told News4’s Justin Finch. “Lives are at stake.”

In Fairfax County, for the first time since March, some students head back into school as a pilot program with concurrent learning begins Monday. Students in schools and at home will get the same live instruction.

“It’s kind of an experiment,” county Federation of Teachers President Tina Williams told News4’s Justin Finch. “Lives are at stake.”


On Capitol Hill, delays in Congress could mean that coronavirus relief won't be delivered before the election. Republicans and Democrats are hashing out the details, but a deal would have to be realized by Tuesday for it to be enacted by Election Day.

Here's where we stand as the coronavirus continues to change our lives in D.C., Maryland and Virginia:

What the Data Shows

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide topped 40 million Monday morning, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.

Although cases are on the rise nationally, there are some hints that the recent surge of cases in the D.C.-area is beginning to slow down.

D.C.'s seven-day case average (53) is down by 15 compared to last week. Seven-day averages in Maryland (613) and Virginia (874) are still high, but they have leveled off over the past few days.

D.C. reported 25 cases on Monday and no additional deaths. Maryland reported 497 more cases and four additional deaths. Virginia had 601 new cases and 13 additional deaths.

The positivity rates in our region are a little higher than usual with D.C., Maryland and Virginia reporting rates of 2%, 3.14% and 5%, respectively.

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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