Maryland says indoor dining capacity at its restaurants can increase from 50% to 75% starting at 5 p.m., although local governments may decide whether to enact the change in their counties. Montgomery and Prince George's counties will be among those holding back.
The Restaurant Association of Maryland cites the shifting weather as a reason for the change, stating greater indoor capacity will help make up for the loss of revenue from outdoor dining.
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The move also coincides with Maryland’s first-ever Restaurant Week, which began Sept. 18 and will continue through Sept. 27.
Restaurants will have to enforce proper social distancing and follow other public health requirements.
In D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced $6,000 grants to help purchase equipment like tents and heaters so restaurants can stay open as the temperatures go down.
Bowser will announce within the next two weeks the reopening of some government services, including recreation centers, which includes pools, parks and libraries.
The mayor is also reviewing applications from several businesses including live music venues that applied for permission to open but were denied.
This comes as the District launched a new set of metrics to measure when it could enter phase three. The new data is color coded and links to graphs that show multiday trends.
Also on Monday, five states were added to D.C.'s list of "high-risk" states: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, West Virginia and Wyoming, while three states -- California, Hawaii and Ohio -- were removed from the list.
Anyone entering the District on nonessential business from any of the 31 states on the list must quarantine for 14 days under an order from Bowser.
What the Data Shows
On Monday, D.C. reported 23 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day increase since early July.
Maryland reported 412 new cases and Virginia reported 569.
Virginia is continuing to report improvements in several of its coronavirus metrics, including its seven-day average (843) and seven-day positivity rate (5.7%).
In D.C., a total of 88 people are hospitalized for the coronavirus and 17 ventilators are currently in use. In Maryland, the number of hospitalizations has fallen from 362 two weeks ago to 290 on Monday. Virginia reported 652 current COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Nearly 4.7 million COVID-19 tests have been administered in D.C., Maryland and 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
- 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