D.C.'s mayor extended the city's coronavirus state of emergency Wednesday to last through the end of the year. The COVID-19 State of Emergency was set to expire this week.
In the updated order, Mayor Muriel Bowser urged businesses to begin developing safety plans to return employees to the office.
The White House reached out to the D.C. Department of Health after Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to President Trump’s chief of staff offering help with contact tracing and containment of the outbreak.
“We’re concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our city regardless of where it happened,” Mayor Bowser said of the dialogue. “We’re also very concerned that everybody — regardless of where they work — are following scientifically justified protocols.”
On Monday there was a spike in the number of new D.C. residents who received a coronavirus test. As of today, testing levels have decreased but are still slightly higher than average.
A total of 2,812 new residents were tested for COVID-19 on Monday, 896 on Tuesday and 1,358 on Wednesday. The daily average of new people tested in the last two weeks of September was 1,164.
Virginia reported its largest single-day increase (1,495) in confirmed cases since early August.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) wrote in a statement on their data hub that the case count reported on Thursday is high because it includes hundreds of cases that should have been reported on Wednesday, but were not because of a system reporting issue.
In Loudoun County, a public schools staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus. The staff member was last at the Forest Grove Elementary School on October 2, and they are currently self-isolating.
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 68 new COVID-19 cases, Maryland reported 761 and Virginia had 1,495.
Two lives were lost to COVID-19 in the District, while six were lost in Maryland and nine were lost in Virginia.
Hospitalizations in the region continue to remain higher than recent weeks. There are 623 people currently hospitalized with the virus in Virginia and 100 in D.C. There are 403 people hospitalized in Maryland, the highest count since late August.
Low positivity rates continue to indicate adequate testing. The rates are 2% in D.C., 2.79% in Maryland and 4.8% in Virginia.
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
- Childcare capacity is expanding in Maryland under phase three. Montgomery County has opted to remain at current operating levels.
- D.C. reported 105 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest number since early June.
- 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.
- President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several other members of White House staff have tested positive for the coronavirus.
- A Maryland high school donated the money it raised for prom to an effort to fight COVID-19 when the pandemic forced it to cancel the party.
- 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.
- A judge sentenced a Maryland man to a year in jail for throwing parties that exceeded capacity restrictions at the beginning of the governor’s coronavirus emergency order.
- D.C. Public Schools buildings are being assessed to determine if they can be COVID-ready for some in-person learning to begin Nov. 9, sources told News4.
- The Fairfax County School Board voted on Tuesday to start hybrid learning next month.
- The Loudoun County school board voted to begin a hybrid learning plan that prioritizes getting younger students back to in-person classes.
- The Smithsonian reopened two more museums to the public Sept. 25.
- Five states were added to D.C.'s list of "high-risk" states Sept. 21. Three other states were removed from the list. An updated list is set to be released on Monday, Oct. 5.
- Maryland child care providers can return to the full teacher-to-child ratios for which they are licensed, state officials said Thursday, and some nursing homes will be able to resume indoor visits.
- Prince George's County will allow tanning salons, banquet halls and other businesses to open with restrictions. It adjusted some other rules on Wednesday, too. Read more.
- 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.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he has 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 have both affirmed that they are not altering plans to hold classes online throughout the first half of the school year.
- Private and parochial schools in Maryland can choose when to reopen after a back-and-forth between county health officials and the governor. Read more.
- 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:
- 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.