The United States reported 80,662 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, topping the previous record high of 79,303 cases on Oct. 23, according to NBC News.
Nearly every state in the U.S. is reporting increases in COVID-19 infections. Our region is no exception.
D.C. reported the highest seven-day average of cases (77) in more than four months on Thursday. On Tuesday, D.C. reported a hospitalization count not seen since late July.
Maryland's seven-day average of new daily infections is currently at 773 cases – that's 243 more cases than the beginning of October, and the highest number reported since mid-August.
As the pandemic takes a turn for the worse, parents in Prince George's County are concerned about allowing their children to return to in-person learning in spring, a recent poll found.
The poll, conducted by Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) found that 68% of parents report "feeling uncomfortable with in-person instruction."
PGCPS is expected to make an announcement Thursday regarding when children can expect to return to the classroom.
Gov. Ralph Northam addressed rising coronavirus cases in Virginia at a press conference Wednesday.
Cases in Southwest Virginia in particular have increased over the past two weeks, Virginia data shows. The percent positivity in the Southwest region is now just under 8%, over twice the level in other regions, Northam said.
Number of Cases by Date of Symptom Onset in Southwest Virginia
Virginia's seven-day average on the first of this month was 649 cases. Today, an average of 903 daily cases are being reported.
Cases in Northern Virginia have been trending upward since the beginning of October, but at a lower rate than the Southwest region.
Northam also announced that Virginia will allocate an additional $30 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support small businesses.
Each business will now be eligible for up to $100,000, up from a previous limit of $10,000.
European countries face rising cases, too.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide lockdown starting Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel imposed a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and theaters and many other European countries have also followed suit.
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 one death and another 101 cases of COVID-19 Thursday – the highest count in three weeks.
In Maryland, another 962 cases of the virus and 11 more deaths were announced. The rolling seven-day average of cases was 773, indicating the acceleration of new infections in the state.
Virginia reported 1,076 cases and 20 additional deaths Thursday. The rolling seven-day average of cases was 903.
Positivity rates across the region are a bit higher than usual, indicating more people being tested for COVID-19 are coming back with a confirmed diagnosis. D.C. reported a positivity rate of 2.6%, Maryland reported 3.52% and Virginia reported 5.3%.
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 man who refused to wear a face mask at an early voting site in Maryland was arrested Tuesday and faces misdemeanor charges, officials say.
- Maryland and Virginia released plans on Oct. 20 for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, but D.C. is staying mum for now.
- Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging D.C. residents who use iPhone or Android smartphones to opt-in to a new COVID-19 contact-tracing app.
- Most new COVID-19 cases in D.C. come from social events, according to data presented 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.
- D.C. plans to have high school sports return in January.
- 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 allowed 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.