Washington, D.C., is aiming to have some in-person school return in November and is beginning to plan its vaccine rollout as the timeline for a safe, effective inoculation becomes a dispute in the presidential race and even inside the federal government.
Arlington County voted to allow a social distancing order to expire after it was criticized online. The order required pedestrians on posted sidewalks to maintain at least six feet of distance and prohibited groups of more than three to gather.
“Arlington police have determined that it is impractical to cite hundreds of violators a night,” Board Member Christian Dorsey said, the county reported in a press release.
The order will lapse on Sept. 29.
In Loudoun County, another school staff member has tested positive for coronavirus. The Sugarland Elementary School employee was in school on Sept. 10, and is now self-isolating.
Prince George's County is allowing more businesses to open their doors and revised some of its coronavirus safety guidelines under its second phase of reopening.
Banquet halls, hookah lounges, tanning salons and indoor pools are among business that can open with some restrictions.
What the Data Shows
Nearly 4.5 million coronavirus cases have been administered in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. More than 262,000 people have tested positive and more than 7,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the region.
The moving average of cases in Washington, D.C., continues to rise. On Thursday, it reached 54, up from 40 last week.
Hospitalizations are also at a high level for D.C. Currently, 100 people are hospitalized, the highest number in a month.
The moving average of new cases is currently 634 in Maryland and 906 in Virginia. On Thursday, Maryland and Virginia added 634 and 997 cases, respectively.
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
- Prince George's County is allowing more businesses to open their doors and revised some of its coronavirus safety guidelines under its second phase of reopening. Read more.
- Seven popular nightlife spots near D.C.’s U Street Corridor will be shuttered next month. Read more.
- The Smithsonian is set to reopen four more museums to the public beginning this Friday.
- 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.
- Up to 25,000 low-income students and families in D.C. are set to be provided free internet connections under a new initiative from Mayor Muriel Bowser. Here's what to know.
- What can sewage tell us about COVID-19 in our communities? Stafford County, Virginia, provides an example.
- 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