Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Sept. 22

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

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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.

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

Source: DC, MD and VA Health Departments
Credit: Anisa Holmes / NBC Washington

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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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