Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Sept. 20

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

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The majority of classes at Virginia’s community colleges will be conducted virtually during the spring semester, the system’s head announced.

Chancellor Glenn DuBois sent notice of the college system’s plan to students on Friday, The Daily Press of Newport News reported.

Staying online is the “safest and most prudent choice” with the continued pandemic and the arrival of the flu season, he added.

Effective Monday at 5 p.m., Maryland's indoor dining capacity will be increased from 50% to 75%, just in time for Maryland’s first-ever Restaurant Week, which began on Sept. 18. Restaurant Week will continue through Sept. 27.

Restaurants will have to enforce proper social distancing and follow public health requirements consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the National Restaurant Association.

What the Data Shows

On Sunday, D.C. reported 53 new COVID-19 cases and Maryland reported 412. Virginia reported 766 new cases, the lowest single-day increase in nearly two weeks.

Virginia is reporting improvements in its coronavirus metrics across the board.

The current seven-day average of new cases is at 866, the lowest figure reported in the state since Aug. 26.

Hospitalizations in Virginia are also declining. There are currently 631 Virginians hospitalized with COVID-19. That's 184 less people than were hospitalized two weeks ago.

The seven-day positivity rate is also continuing on a downward trend with a reported rate of 5.9% on Sunday, a low not reported since late June.

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

Local Coronavirus Headlines

  • The “first reported COVID-19 death of a child in the Commonwealth” was reported Friday by the Virginia Department of Health.
  • D.C. Public Schools in mid-September began considering plans that could bring students back to in-person classes by Nov. 9, 2020. The city is also starting to plan how it will administer a COVID-19 vaccine once one is proven effective and made available. Read more.
  • Prince George's County is allowing more businesses to open their doors and revised some of its coronavirus safety guidelines under its second phase of reopening. Read more.
  • Seven popular nightlife spots near D.C.’s U Street Corridor will be shuttered next month. Read more.
  • The Smithsonian is set to reopen four more museums to the public beginning this Friday.
  • The University of Maryland began transitioning to in-person lessons on Monday after the school reported a low campus positivity rate of 0.7%.
  • Some D.C. Public Schools students could be back in the classroom as early as this month, the mayor said. Read more.
  • Up to 25,000 low-income students and families in D.C. are set to be provided free internet connections under a new initiative from Mayor Muriel Bowser. Here's what to know.
  • What can sewage tell us about COVID-19 in our communities? Stafford County, Virginia, provides an example.

Reopening Tracker

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.

Sophia Barnes, Andrea Swalec and Anisa Holmes contributed to this report

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