Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Oct. 30

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

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The United States recorded more than 90,000 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, breaking a record set just the day before.

Cases are surging in practically every state.

Halloween is just a day away, and there's more than just ghouls and goblins to be wary of. Some local governments are warning citizens to safe this Halloween by avoiding large gatherings.

Dr. Ernest Carter, the health director for Prince George’s County, is asking residents to resist the urge to let their guard down and gather during the holidays.

"October has been bumpy," Carter said. Weekly new infections in the county have increased from the mid-600s in September to the 700s in October, he said.

The increase in cases prompted County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to announce that Prince George's would remain in phase 2 reopening – even as the rest of the state relaxes restrictions.

Prince George's County is staying in phase two of reopening as positive coronavirus cases and the infection rate are rising. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports the county's health director is asking residents to resist the urge to let their guard down and gather during the holidays.

While CDC safety precautions should be heeded, there is still plenty of spooky fun to be had. Costume parades, drive-in movies and walking tours are among some lower-risk activities this season.

For more ideas, check out our local guide for socially distanced Halloween celebrations in the D.C. area.

News4's Jummy Olabanji and Tommy McFly break down some of the most fun and social-distancing safe ways to enjoy Halloween weekend.

The holiday shopping season is going to be a lot different this year due to the pandemic.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is urging shoppers to begin as soon as possible. With most people buying online, some things could go out of stock quickly and there may be shipping delays. Many Black Friday deals will be offered throughout November, so there is some time to plan ahead.

Those shopping in person will also need to make adjustments. Protocols like social distancing, adhering to one-way traffic rules and waiting in line to even get inside a store will be the norm.

At least 93 local employees of motor vehicle administration branches in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team. Three of the cases were fatal.

A large concentration of cases, at least 28 of them, occurred at the MVA's Glen Burnie offices.

Employees who spoke with the I-Team say they are concerned by the lack of transparency and worry that the cases indicate a risk to their health and to the health of their customers.

What the Data Shows

D.C. reported one death and another 70 cases of COVID-19 Friday. D.C. reported the highest seven-day average of cases (77) in more than four months on Thursday. As of Friday, 102 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in D.C.

In Maryland, another 927 cases of the virus and 10 more deaths were announced. The rolling seven-day average of cases Friday was 803 – the highest number since early August.

Virginia reported 1,167 cases and seven additional deaths Friday. The rolling seven-day average of cases was 935.

Positivity rates across the region are 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 3.71% and Virginia reported 5.4%.

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:

  • Wear a snug-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth. 
  • Avoid being indoors with people who are not members of your household. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. If you are indoors with people you don’t live with, stay at least six feet apart and keep your mask on. 
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you have been in a public place.
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