Thousands of U.S. flags have been placed on the National Mall to memorialize the 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Memorial Project installed all 20,000 flags Monday night facing the White House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi participated in an interfaith service Tuesday morning to commemorate the lives lost.
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On Monday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new safety guidelines for Halloween.
The guidelines include a list ranking the risk level of activities like trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving. Visiting a pumpkin patch, going to a Halloween party and trick-or-treating, for example, are deemed a moderate to high risk by the CDC. Carving pumpkins at home is a safer bet, earning a low-risk classification.
On Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced $10 million in grant awards for Maryland’s 16 community colleges to boost educational opportunities and workforce development programs during the pandemic.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that we offer all Marylanders every opportunity to get the tools they need to stay competitive in the job market, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hogan said in a statement.
What the Data Shows
On Tuesday, D.C. reported 43 new COVID-19 cases, Maryland reported 344 and Virginia reported 800.
Virginia reported 45 coronavirus-related deaths, a large jump which could be due to a recent backlog of death data, the Virginia Department of Health wrote at their data hub.
Data in Maryland and Virginia are showing signs of improvement. Seven-day averages for new cases in Maryland (524) and Virginia's (835) are at their lowest since late August. Seven-day average positivity rates are also at an all-time low for both states. On Tuesday, Maryland reported a rate of 2.65% and Virginia reported a rate of 5.5%.
Hospitalizations are also continuing to trend downward in Virginia
The daily positivity rate in D.C. is also very low. As of Sept. 18, only 1.7% of people tested in the District actually had COVID-19.
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 Smithsonian reopened four more museums to the public beginning on Friday, September 18. Two more are set to reopen on Friday, September 25.
- Five states were added Monday to D.C.'s list of "high-risk" states. Three other states were removed from the list.
- D.C. launched new coronavirus metrics and Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to announce the reopening of certain services in the next two weeks.
- Maryland increased its restaurants' indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75% on Monday.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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