Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging D.C. residents who use iPhone or Android smartphones to opt-in to a new app that helps fight the spread of COVID-19.
The app, called DC CAN, uses an alert notification system to inform its users if they've been exposed to the virus. Here's how it works. D.C. residents will be getting alerts on their smartphones Tuesday, asking them to sign up.
“We are encouraging all District residents, and those who spend time in the District, to opt into DC CAN,” Mayor Bowser wrote in a statement. “Using the DC CAN system is a quick and easy way to know if you might have been exposed to COVID-19.”
Other states, including Virginia, have already rolled out apps that can tell you if you've come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but the different apps in different states don't all communicate with each other.
Maryland released a plan Monday on how it will distribute and administer a COVID-19 vaccine when it become available.
The plan focuses on two major phases. Phase 1 will focus on priority groups including first responders, healthcare workers, staff and residents of nursing homes and some essential workers. Phase 2 will include the general population but will depend on supply levels of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state's plan has been submitted to the CDC.
Coronavirus testing rates have dropped in several states where cases are increasing, an NBC News analysis found.
The NBC News analysis of COVID Tracking Project data found testing rates have fallen in Kentucky, Nevada, Iowa, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Arkansas, even though cases have been rising.
Kentucky has the most dramatic disparity – cases have risen 35% in the last two weeks, but testing rates have fallen 38% during the same period.
The D.C. region, however, is doing well when it comes to testing. According to NBC News, testing in the District of Columbia has increased by 23% in the past two weeks. In Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, testing rates have increased by 6%, 3% and 31%, respectively.
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 a seven-day case average of 54, remaining in line with numbers reported during the past week. Virginia reported a seven-day average of 837 – down from 910 last week. Maryland's seven-day average, however, is up to 629, the largest number reported in a month.
Hospitalizations are also particularly high in Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, 464 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number reported since mid-August. In Virginia, 688 people are hospitalized. D.C. is reporting 85 hospitalizations.
D.C., Maryland and Virginia reported positivity rates of 2%, 3.14% and 4.8%, respectively, on Tuesday.
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
- A group of teachers for D.C. Public Schools rallied over the weekend to voice their concerns about a plan to go back to in-person instruction in November.
- 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.