The Anne Arundel County Health Department is discouraging trick-or-treating this Halloween due to the pandemic.
The county recommends avoiding traditional activities like trick-or-treating, hayrides, haunted houses and parties in order to stay safe during the holiday.
For those children and parents who choose to trick-or-treat, the health department encourages bringing hand sanitizer, giving out candy with tongs as opposed to handling directly and wearing Halloween-themed face masks that cover the mouth and chin rather than costume masks, which may not be as effective.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the region, residents are preparing for a socially distanced Halloween by installing candy chutes.
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As D.C. pilots bringing back live events with social distancing measures, one highly anticipated pop-up at the Kennedy Center has been scrapped for now.
HEIST x Kennedy Center was scheduled to happen on Saturday night, potentially bringing hundreds of patrons to the performance arts center’s rooftop. But the Kennedy Center says it won’t happen this weekend “to allow for further evaluation” and ensure the event can honor health guidelines.
The Kennedy Center said in a statement that the event was set to be hosted by a renter and it was not part of the mayor’s Phase Two Live Entertainment Pilot Program.
The “nightlife experience” had been scheduled to continue during future weekends this fall, but it's unclear how organizers will proceed. Spokespersons for HEIST didn’t immediately answer an email seeking further details.
The coronavirus pandemic was a major topic in 2020's first presidential debate Tuesday night. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis.
"The president has no plan. He hasn't laid out anything. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was. He knew it was a deadly disease," Biden said.
Trump responded it would have been worse with Biden as Commander in Chief. "I'll tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don't have it in your blood," Trump responded.
Here's where we stand as the coronavirus continues to change our lives in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
What the Data Shows
After weeks of consistent decline in the region, Maryland and Virginia are both showing signs of a slight uptick in the pace of the spread of COVID-19.
The seven-day average of new cases in Maryland is up to 490 from 473 two days ago. In Virginia, average new cases are up to 713 from 692 two days ago.
The seven-day average has declined in D.C. for the fourth day in a row and is currently at an average of 39 new cases daily.
Overall, the number of people impacted by coronavirus grows every day, even though the pace is slowing in some areas.
The positivity rate remains in good shape across the region. D.C. has a daily positivity rate of 1.6% as of Sept. 26, Maryland's seven-day average positivity rate is at 2.68% and Virginia's seven-day average positivity rate is at 4.5%.
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
- As school districts put together plans to start returning students to classrooms, some teachers in Fairfax County, Virginia, who aren’t comfortable returning may need to anyway.
- D.C. granted permission for six indoor venues to host performances. D.C. also granted permission for the Adams Morgan business improvement district to host outdoor movies.
- A judge sentenced a Maryland man to a year in jail for throwing parties that exceeded capacity restrictions at the beginning of the governor’s coronavirus emergency order.
- D.C. Public Schools buildings are being assessed to determine if they can be COVID-ready for some in-person learning to begin Nov. 9, sources told News4.
- The Fairfax County School Board voted on Tuesday to start hybrid learning next month.
- The Loudoun County school board voted to begin a hybrid learning plan that prioritizes getting younger students back to in-person classes.
- The Smithsonian reopened four more museums to the public beginning on Friday, Sept. 18. Two more are set to reopen on Friday, Sept. 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.
- 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.