Coronavirus in DC, Maryland, Virginia: What to Know on Sept. 30

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

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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.

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.

Democratic Nominee for President Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic while Trump said it would have been worse with Biden as Commander in Chief.

"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

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.
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