Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Oct. 6

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

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D.C. reported 105 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number since early June.

It’s also the first triple-digit jump since Aug. 9.

While 105 is a significant increase from Monday's seven-day average of 40 cases, it does not necessarily represent a trend.

“When monitoring the positive test results, we look for trends over several days," LaToya Foster, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Communications, wrote in statement. "We will continue to monitor this and other metrics in the coming days.”

It’s unclear why the jump occurred, but several factors could be in play.

The news of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection, as well as the diagnoses of the first lady, several top aides and two Senators, may have spurred more people in the city to get tested.

Long lines were reported at public testing sites Monday, when D.C. tested about 2,812 people. That is three to four times higher than the number of people tested in the previous two days. However, most individuals’ test results don’t come back for a few days.

Top federal officials’ cases likely aren’t causing the surge because many wouldn’t be counted by D.C. public health officials.

State and city agencies count cases among their own residents, Latoya Foster, communications director of Mayor Muriel Bowser, said on Friday. Furthermore, the White House does its own testing and contact tracing.

Brick-and-mortar businesses in Washington, D.C, can start applying Tuesday to get $10,000 from a resiliency fund. News4's Justin Finch reports that the businesses can use the money to adapt as the pandemic squeezes the economy.

Some local officials want more information on the outbreak at the White House, fearing it could spill into D.C., Maryland and Virginia communities.

The National Capital Delegation said it is concerned for residents who work at the White House, including household staff, federal officers and journalists.

The group, including D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and representatives from Maryland and Virginia, issued a statement demanding the White House give more health data, cooperate better with local and state health departments and implement stronger social distancing measures.

A turn toward cooler weather could be part of the problem. Many public health experts, including at the University of Virginia, have warned that a new wave was possible during fall as more people socialize indoors, where it’s easier for the virus to spread from person to person.

President Trump was released on Monday from Walter Reed Medical Center where he had been receiving treatment for COVID-19. Dr. Dena Grayson, an infectious disease expert, explains what to make of Trump's experimental treatment regimen and his claim that he may now be "immune" from the coronavirus.

We’ll examine data released over the next several days to see if the District is at the beginning of a resurgence.

Meanwhile, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is launching a new fund to help small businesses continue to weather this pandemic.

Starting Tuesday at 4 p.m., business owners can apply to receive a $10,000 grant from the $3 million Business Resiliency Fund. Brick-and-mortar businesses can use to the money for a range of expenses from development to marketing to cleaning products and personal protective equipment.

Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam said he has developed cold-like symptoms about one week after testing positive for the coronavirus. The governor thanked folks across Virginia who have been offering their prayers and well-wishes. His wife Pam Northam is also recovering. The governor says he is able to work with the General Assembly during its special session.

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

What the Data Shows

In addition to D.C.’s concerningly-high 105 new cases reported Tuesday, the city also has a high level of hospitalizations. A total of 105 District residents with COVID-19 are currently being treated in hospitals.

The District’s seven-day rolling average of new cases spiked to 50 after the big batch of additional cases was reported. Maryland’s average is down slightly to 556 and Virginia’s is up to 718.

Low positivity rates continue to indicate adequate testing. The rates are 1.9% in D.C., 2.95% in Maryland and 4.9% in Virginia.

So many stage workers and employees at theaters in the D.C. area have struggled to find jobs as the pandemic shutters stages of all kinds. News4's Mollet Green reports.

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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