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Coronavirus in the DMV: September 19

The coronavirus impact on the DMV continues. Here are the latest updates.

WASHINGTON — The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) remains present around the country, as well as here in the DMV. Things like masks and social distancing are the most important to help combat the spread of the virus.

This blog details the latest updates on the coronavirus in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Check-in each day for what’s new, where each part of the DMV is at in its phased reopening plan and what direction the coronavirus trend is headed.

Have a question? Text it to us at 202-895-5599.

Updates on coronavirus cases come from health departments between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. every day.

Tracking the Coronavirus

  • D.C. is now averaging 50 new coronavirus cases a day. Two weeks ago, D.C. was averaging 44 cases. 
  • D.C. once again reported no new deaths as a result of the virus.
  • Maryland reported 682 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. The state is now averaging just over 600 new cases of the virus a day. A 3% decrease from two weeks ago. 
  • Virginia continues to deal with a backlog of reported deaths, adding 41 on Saturday. 
  • Virginia's daily coronavirus case average is down slightly from where it was two weeks ago.

Reopening the DMV

The latest in reopening news:

  • Maryland has entered the third and final stage of its reopening plan, with all businesses able to reopen. Details on what Phase 3 looks like here.
  • Montgomery County has adjusted some of its Phase 2 guidelines. More here
  • Prince George's County, Maryland, remains in Phase 2, but released additional reopenings. Here's a look.
  • Starting Monday, September 21, at 5 p.m., capacity for indoor operations at restaurants in Maryland may increase from 50 to 75 percent. Details here.
  • Metro returns to a normal schedule with masks and social distancing still required. Here's the latest.

Previous Updates

  • D.C.’s daily coronavirus average is up 8% from where it was two weeks ago – but since D.C. averages so few cases a day, that’s only a change of three cases. Since Labor Day, the city’s average has been consistently below where it was in August. It seems the holiday weekend did not cause a spike in new cases.
  • In Maryland there seems to be no evidence yet of a Labor Day-related coronavirus spike. On the Friday before the holiday weekend, the state was averaging 595 new cases of the virus a day. As of this Friday, Maryland was averaging 620 cases of the virus a day – just a 4% difference.
  • In Virginia, the average for daily coronavirus cases is actually down from where it was prior to Labor Day. On September 4, the commonwealth was averaging 1,026 new cases of the virus a day. As of Friday, it was averaging 1,008 cases. That’s a 2% decrease.
  • It’s still possible that some vacation destination spots along Virginia’s east coast, particularly areas like Virginia Beach, could see an uptick in holiday-related cases next week, as we are still within the 14-day period for symptoms to emerge.
  • Virginia has now added more than 200 new deaths from the coronavirus over the past four days. The glut of unreported cases seems to be lessening, however, as the commonwealth reported 29 new deaths on Friday – the same number it reported on September 2.

September 17:

  • After nearly two weeks of decline, D.C.’s coronavirus numbers have begun moving upward again. The city is now averaging 54 new cases of the virus a day That’s where it was at the end of August. It had hit a low of 40 cases a day on September 10.
  • Maryland’s coronavirus numbers have been on an upward trend since August 31, when the state was averaging 511 new cases a day. As of Thursday, it’s now averaging 634 cases a day – a nearly 25% increase.
  • The apparent jump in hospital beds in use by coronavirus patients in Maryland on Tuesday appears not to have been a sustained trend. After increasing by 30 in a single day earlier this week, that number has fallen back down to 347 total hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients – the lowest number since March.
  • Virginia has added 177 new coronavirus-related deaths from its data backlog over the past three days. That’s as much as the previous 16 days combined.
  • Virginia’s average percent positivity for coronavirus tests has been headed in the right direction recently. Over the past 10 days it has dropped from 7.8% to 6.7%, which is close to its all-time low.

September 16:

  • In D.C., case and death numbers remain plateaued at around 50 and 0 per day, respectively. The District did report a new death from the coronavirus on Wednesday, breaking a five-day streak.
  • In Maryland, the state is now averaging 616 cases of the coronavirus a day. That's 12% more than it was two weeks ago. Deaths have dropped over that same time period from an average of 7 a day to 5 a day.
  • In Virginia, the commonwealth is now averaging 1,010 cases of the coronavirus a day. That's essentially flat from where it was two weeks ago. The commonwealth's death numbers remain funky due to an apparent data backlog.

September 15: 

  • As of Tuesday, D.C. had gone five consecutive days without a coronavirus-related death – tying the District’s previous record from mid-July.
  • The Maryland Department of Health reported 30 new COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state on Tuesday, including 21 who were placed in acute care. That’s a nearly 10% increase from Monday’s hospitalization number.
  • Marylanders between the ages of 20-29 now represent the largest single chunk of COVID-19 cases in the state – overpassing those ages 30-39. As of Tuesday, the state health department reports that more than 21,000 Marylanders between 20-29 have contracted the coronavirus.
  • School-aged kids between 10 and 19 have also seen increasing numbers of coronavirus cases. Since August 1, that age group has seen a growth in cases of 68% -- the highest growth rate of any cohort in the state. As of Tuesday, more than 9,200 kids between the ages of 10-19 had contracted coronavirus in Maryland.
  • Marylanders under the age of 30 also now make up nearly 50% of daily cases in the state – a sharp rise from the early stages of the pandemic in April, when they represented just 13% of new cases, and a significant rise even from August 31, when they were roughly 40% of new cases.
  • Virginia reported 96 new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday – the result of what the state health department is calling an “existing data backlog.” This could help explain why Virginia’s deaths data has been so spiky – with large peaks followed immediately by low valleys – over the past several weeks.

September 14:

  • DC Health reports the percent of new cases coming from quarantined contacts has dropped significantly since September 1 – falling from a high of 10% to just 3.4% as of September 10 (the most recent date available). This is one of D.C.’s key metrics for entering Phase III. The goal is 60%.
  • The percent positivity for coronavirus tests conducted on Marylanders over the age of 35 reached a record low of 2.7% as of Monday. Meanwhile, that number for those under 35 has been steadily increasing since the end of August, and is now at more than 5%.
  • The overall percent positivity for coronavirus cases in Maryland has been on an upward trend since August 7, when it reached a low of 3%. As of Monday, the statewide average over the past week has been 3.5%.
  • Over the past week, the top two health districts for new cases in Virginia have been not along the eastern coast of the commonwealth, but rather the western edge. The New River region (which includes Montgomery and Radford) and the Central Shenandoah region (including Rockingham and Harrisonburg) have reported an average of 90 new cases a day – even more than the Fairfax region.
  • Virginia reported 1,300 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday. That’s its highest single-day total in more than a month and one of the 10 highest single-day counts since the pandemic began.
  • Virginia reported 19 new deaths from the coronavirus on Monday – more than twice the commonwealth’s average over the past week. More than 2,700 people have died in Virginia as a result of COVID-19.

September 11:

  • D.C. once again reported zero deaths as a result of the coronavirus on Friday. Health officials reported 59 new cases of the virus. The District's 7-day moving average has remained in the 40s for the last 10 days.
  • Maryland reported 809 new cases of the virus Friday. Testing numbers nearly doubled in 24 hours. On Thursday, Maryland reported nearly 18,000 tests, and on Friday reported more than 33,000.
  • Virginia reported 1,300 new cases of the virus on Friday, the highest single-day case count in a month. The previous single-day high was reported Thursday, with 1,236 cases.

September 10:

  • D.C.’s seven-day coronavirus average dropped to 40 new cases a day on Thursday. That’s the city’s lowest point in two months. While some of that progress may be due to reduced testing numbers from Labor Day weekend, the city had already been on a declining trend for more than a week going into the holiday.
  • As of Thursday, Maryland reports that just 92 ICU beds in the state are in use to treat coronavirus patients. That’s the state’s lowest number since the pandemic began, and a reduction of nearly 85% from the virus’ peak in May.
  • Testing numbers returned to closer to the normal in Maryland on Thursday, with the results of more than 18,000 new tests reported. The tests had an average percent positivity of 3.5% -- less than the average for the previous seven days.
  • After three days of reduced case counts due to low testing numbers, Virginia reverted to closer to its pre-Labor Day norm on Thursday – reporting 1,236 new cases of the coronavirus. That’s the commonwealth’s highest single-day count in a month.
  • Virginia reports that more than 10,000 people in the commonwealth have now been hospitalized due to the coronavirus. Virginia has averaged around 1,100 coronavirus patients hospitalized at any one time for the past month.
  • The commonwealth had seemed to be making some progress on ventilated coronavirus patients as well, with that number dropping by 10 over the holiday weekend. However, as of Thursday, more than 130 coronavirus patients in the state of Virginia were once again on ventilators.

September 9:

  • Like the rest of the DMV, D.C. saw reduced testing numbers over the holiday weekend. Over the past three days, DC Health has reported an average of about 2,000 test results a day – nearly half of the average from the week prior.
  • Maryland, like Virginia, has seen lower-than-average coronavirus numbers over the past several days – corresponding with much lower-than-average testing numbers over the Labor Day weekend. In the week prior, Maryland was averaging nearly 22,000 coronavirus tests a day. Over the past three days, that has dropped to 15,000, and on Tuesday, the state reported the results of fewer than 10,000 new tests for the first time since July 7.
  • The reduced testing over the holiday weekend has caused a slight uptick in the state’s average percent positivity – rising from 3.3% last week to roughly 3.7% as of Wednesday – but this will likely return to the recent normal once testing resumes.
  • Virginia has reported lower-than-average coronavirus numbers over the past several days, which is in line with the significantly lower-than-average number of tests the state reported over the same period. In the week prior to Labor Day weekend, the Virginia Department of Health reported the results of an average of 13,000 coronavirus tests a day. Over the pat three days, that number has been cut nearly in half. On Tuesday, VDH reported the results of just 4,655 new tests.
  • With testing down over the holiday weekend, and the coronavirus’ long incubation time, it may be a week or more before we are able to see what, if any, effect Labor Day festivities may have had on the state’s coronavirus numbers. Holiday travelers could potentially exacerbate already high numbers in the Hampton Roads region.

September 8:

  • D.C.’s seven-day average has been on a slight downward trend recently, dropping by 11% over the past two weeks. Most of that progress has been made in the past seven days.
  • Saturday marked six months since the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in the DMV in Montgomery County, Maryland. Since then, more than a quarter of a million people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have contracted the virus.
  • Maryland reported a one-month high in daily coronavirus cases on Friday, and then similarly elevated numbers on Saturday and Monday, followed by its lowest single-day case count in two months (356) on Tuesday. All of this is likely attributable to people getting tested prior to Labor Day and then the subsequent drop-off of tests during the actual weekend.
  • More than 125,000 people in Virginia have now contracted the coronavirus, and more than 2,600 of those have died from the virus.
  • The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Virginia has been on a downward trend over the past two weeks – dropping by a little more than 10% over that period. The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds in the commonwealth has seen a similar drop over the same period.

September 7:

  • D.C. once again reported no new deaths as a result of the coronavirus on Monday.
  • Maryland reported 764 cases of coronavirus Monday, down from 819 cases reported on Friday, which was the highest single-day count in more than a month.
  • The Maryland Department of Health reports that more than 2 million tests have now been conducted in the state, including about 22,000 over the past 24 hours. Maryland has been averaging a percent positivity of less than 3.5% since mid-August.
  • Virginia's 7-day average is once again below 1,000 Monday following three days straight of more than 1,000 cases last week.
  • Virginia’s testing percent positivity is on the rise again. Since August 22, when it was at an average of 6.5%, the metric has risen to 7.7%.

September 6:

  • The number of ventilators in use by COVID-19 patients in D.C. has dropped to a new low of just five as of Friday. At the virus’ peak in early May, there were 92 coronavirus patients in D.C. hospitals on ventilators.
  • Maryland reported 819 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday – its highest single-day total in a month and more than 37% higher than its average over the past week.
  • The Maryland Department of Health reports that more than 2 million tests have now been conducted in the state, including nearly 30,000 over the past 24 hours. Maryland has been averaging a percent positivity of less than 3.5% since mid-August.
  • Virginia’s coronavirus trend has been on an upward arc for the past 10 days, and its seven-day average has now been above 1,000 cases for three days straight.
  • Virginia’s testing percent positivity is on the rise again. Since August 22, when it was at an average of 6.5%, the metric has risen to 7.8%.

September 5:

  • D.C.’s percent positivity rate has now been around 2.6% -- its all-time low – for 10 days (as of August 25, the most recent data for which data is available). The District has been averaging more than 4,000 new coronavirus tests a day over the past several weeks.
  • The percentage of new coronavirus cases in Maryland coming from the under-30 population is on the rise again. As of Thursday, this demographic was now making up an average of 44% of new cases in the state over the past week. This is a function of under-30 cases mostly staying at the same rate over the past several weeks while the rest of the state has seen a decline in new cases.
  • The coronavirus trend in both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties has been nearly flat for more than two weeks (Montgomery not down at all, Prince George’s down ~ 15%). Neither county will join the rest of Maryland in entering Phase 3 for the moment.
  • Virginia is once again averaging more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus a day. The commonwealth’s seven-day average for daily cases dropped below the 1,000 mark on August 14 and had stayed below it for nearly three weeks – falling to 860 on August 21 before beginning to rise again.

September 3:

  • More than 50,000 coronavirus tests have now been conducted in Ward 6 – far and away the ward with the most tests. Ward 5 ranks second with more than 38,000, and Ward 1 comes in third with 37,000.
  • Maryland has maintained a percent positivity of 3.3% for its coronavirus tests for more than two consecutive weeks. The state has averaged more than 20,000 new tests a day since July 20.
  • On Wednesday, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said the county would not be joining the rest of the state in Phase 3 when the transition happens.
  • Virginia has reported significantly above-average coronavirus deaths over the past two days. The commonwealth reported 32 deaths on Tuesday and 29 on Wednesday. It has been averaging 17 deaths a day over the past week.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators or in ICU beds in Virginia has remained mostly flat over the past week – averaging about 140 and 260, respectively – but hasn’t declined far from the commonwealth’s all-time peak.

September 1:

  • D.C. has continued to see declining numbers of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals. As of Tuesday, DC Health reports only 71 hospital beds in the District are now being used by coronavirus patients. The District began August with 102 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
  • In Maryland’s D.C. metro counties, Prince George’s County continues to see its coronavirus trend decline, while Montgomery County has plateaued recently. As of Tuesday, Prince George’s County was averaging 97 new cases of the virus a day – down 17% from the week prior. Meanwhile, Montgomery County was averaging 67 new cases a day – the same number as a week earlier.
  • Virginia’s coronavirus trend is moving upward again, and the commonwealth is averaging just under 1,000 cases a day once more. The last time Virginia’s seven-day average was above 1,000 was August 13. Since then, the average had declined to as low as 860 new cases a day, but has been rising again since August 21. As of Tuesday, Virginia is averaging 997 new cases a day.
  • Deaths from the coronavirus also continue to rise again in Virginia. As of Tuesday, Virginia is averaging 17 new deaths a day from the virus. That’s more than twice what the commonwealth was seeing two weeks ago.

Read previous updates here.

What precautions should you take?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Check the status of the virus in your state with your state health department's websites by tapping below:

D.C. Coronavirus Surveillance Data

Virginia Department of Health

Maryland Department of Health