Hundreds of mask-wearing mourners paid final respects Wednesday to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday from cancer at age 87.
Her casket was placed outside the court, instead of inside the hall, so mourners could visit while maintaining social distance.
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Two Virginia counties have announced plans to return to some in-person learning.
The Loudoun County school board voted to begin a hybrid learning plan that prioritizes getting younger students back to in-person classes.
Under the plan, kids in kindergarten, first and second grade would attend in-person classes two days a week starting Oct. 27. Students in third through fifth grade could begin hybrid classes by early December.
Tuesday night, the Fairfax County School Board also voted to start hybrid learning next month. About 6,700 hundred students would return to classrooms in mid-October out of nearly 200,000 enrolled. About 650 staff would return.
Special needs students and those in technical and hands-on programs would be among the first to go back.
Meanwhile, the government’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testified Wednesday in front of the Senate Health Committee and warned about potentially serious side effects of a COVID-19 infection.
There are a “disturbing number of individuals who have inflammation of the heart,” even after they feel recovered from COVID-19, Fauci said. The serious symptoms are sometimes only noticed on advanced screenings like MRIs.
He said it’s an issue to monitor as we learn more about the virus.
What the Data Shows
Seven-day moving averages of new cases are decreasing across the board. It’s down to 44 in D.C. Over the past two weeks, the number fell from 609 to 487 in Maryland and 907 to 809 in Virginia.
Hospitalizations in Virginia fallen to the lowest level since early July. Virginia’s positivity rate has also decreased to an all-time low of 5.5%.
The positivity rate is 2.75% in Maryland and 1.9% in D.C.
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