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.
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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
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.
- 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 on 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 on June 22, allowing indoor dining, gyms, libraries and houses of worship to reopen with restrictions.
- Montgomery County entered phase two on 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.
Sophia Barnes, Andrea Swalec and Anisa Holmes contributed to this report