coronavirus

DC-Area Virus Response Updates: 19 Metro Stations Closed, Cathedral Sees Miracle

Metro closes for an entire weekday (2016)
Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

A total of 19 Metro stations are now closed, schools in Maryland will remain closed for weeks longer and D.C.’s local officials say the federal government is cheating the District out of millions in coronavirus relief funds. 

Here’s where we are Thursday as we try to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Metro trains and buses across the D.C. area are running on limited schedules and 19 Metro stations are now closed. If you don’t need to use the Metro system, don’t, officials asked. 

Maryland schools will be closed through April 24, the governor announced Wednesday morning. School districts are creating plans for remote learning. 

The federal coronavirus relief bill is shortchanging D.C., the mayor and every member of the D.C. Council said. Each state stands to get at least $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The District is set to get about $500 million, though more people live in D.C. than in Vermont or Wyoming, and D.C. residents carry a heavy federal tax burden. 

As of early afternoon Thursday, 1,271 cases of coronavirus had been announced in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. D.C. had 231 cases, Maryland had 580 and Virginia had 460. Twenty people with the virus died. 

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In Old Town Alexandria, hundreds of people were potentially exposed to coronavirus by going to an Irish pub before St. Patrick’s Day. Someone who “spent time” at Murphy’s Irish Pub at 713 King St. later tested positive for coronavirus, the city announced Wednesday night. The patient was there on March 10, 11, 14 and 15 — before there were restrictions on bars and restaurants in Virginia, D.C. or Maryland. 

Pregnant women in the area are facing new anxieties. A Virginia nurse practitioner told us Wednesday that one of her patients had planned a home birth. But midwives are refusing to go into homes. The mother-to-be is now planning to delivery in a hospital, which “brings more fear and anxiety,” the nurse practitioner said. 

Nationally, more than 3.28 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. That’s more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982. 

Internationally, the leaders of the world’s 20 major industrialized nations held an unusual G20 video call in lieu of meeting in person. The head of the United Nations urged leaders to adopt a war-time plan to tackle the pandemic.

“We are at war with a virus – and not winning it,” he said. 

In a more uplifting note, staff of the Washington National Cathedral saw a mini-miracle. Someone was doing routine work in the crypt of the historic church when they found boxes and boxes of medical masks. The cathedral announced Wednesday that they donated the badly needed masks to two D.C. hospitals

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