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Coronavirus in the DMV: August 13

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

  • The 16th Street NW corridor remains D.C.’s hottest coronavirus spot, with three of the top five neighborhoods in the District (Columbia Heights, 16th Street Heights and Brightwood) located along its length.
  • Montgomery County has postponed coronavirus testing at two locations after the state health department raised questions about protocols at the company providing those tests, AdvaGenix. The county health officer said they are working to repurpose those testing sites.  
  • Health officials in at least Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties are expressing concern over the state’s lack of guidance for reopening private schools, saying there’s no logic in providing metrics and rules for public schools, but not private ones.
  • As of Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health reports there are more hospital beds in use (13,102) in the commonwealth than at any time since the pandemic began. Approximately 80% of Virginia’s normal hospital bed capacity is occupied at the moment.

Reopening the DMV

The latest in reopening news:

  • Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said the jurisdiction will remain in Phase 2 of reopening. Here's the latest.
  • Virginia has begun Phase 3 of reopening. More details about Phase III in Virginia here. 
  • A last-minute change prohibits bar seating in Phase 3 of Virginia's reopening.
  • As new cases have begun rising again in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam has promised stricter enforcement of mask and social distancing rules.
  • Gov. Northam has tightened some coronavirus restrictions in the Hampton Roads area.
  • D.C. is now in Phase II of reopening. It means restaurants and non-essential retail can open indoors at 50% capacity and gyms and yoga studios can reopen with restrictions. Full details on what Phase II means in D.C. here. 
  • Metro has reopened some stops. Here's what you need to know. 
  • All of Maryland is now in Phase II.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has expanded the masks requirements in the state, and issued a travel advisory.

Previous updates:

August 12:

  • D.C. seems to have hit a plateau with its coronavirus numbers. The city has averaged around 70 cases a day since July 22, without much variation. COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on a very slight decline over the past few weeks, and the number of ventilator patients has stayed between 9-12 since mid-July.
  • Maryland has been on a downward trend in daily coronavirus cases since the beginning of August. As of Wednesday, the state’s seven-day average for daily cases had declined by nearly 25% from where it was on July 31.
  • In the D.C. metro area, Montgomery and Prince George’s county are mostly following the state’s current downward trend. Prince George’s has seen a roughly 20% reduction in its seven-day average for new cases since August 1, while Montgomery County – which had been averaging fewer cases to begin with – has seen a 12% reduction.
  • Unlike Maryland, Virginia’s coronavirus trend isn’t on the decline. The commonwealth’s seven-day average has remained above 1,000 new cases a day for nearly three weeks.
  • Reporting of deaths from the coronavirus in Virginia has been very spiky recently, with a lot of peaks and valleys. However, when the peaks happen they’ve been higher than the commonwealth has seen since late May.

August 11:

  • D.C. continues to fall far short of its goal regarding the percentage of new cases that come from quarantined contacts. One of the thresholds for the city entering Phase 3 of reopening is that at least 60% of new cases can be traced to a quarantined contact. So far, that number has never been above 5% since the District began reporting it, and, as of Tuesday, had dropped to 2.9%.
  • Over the past two weeks, Maryland counties with relatively low case counts have begun seeing the highest rates of growth. Worcester, Calvert and Talbot counties all have fewer than 1,000 reported cases of the coronavirus, but over the past two weeks have reported growth of 38%, 29% and 26%, respectively. The state as a whole saw an average growth in coronavirus cases of 13% over that period.
  • Latino Virginians, who were previously as much as 40% of the daily cases in the commonwealth, continue to make up a diminishing percentage of Virginia’s second wave of cases. As of Tuesday, Latinos made up an average of just 13% of new cases in the commonwealth. Black Virginians, on the other hand, now make up a quarter of those new cases.
  • The number of Virginian COVID-19 patients in the ICU or on ventilators has plateaued over the past week after weeks on the rise. As of Tuesday there were 148 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 280 patients in the ICU in the commonwealth.
  • Free COVID-19 testing is available for residents who live and work in Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park. Details and locations of testing sites can be found here.

August 10:

  • Ward 6, which includes neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, NoMa, Shaw and Navy Yard, has seen the fastest growth in new cases over the past two weeks – growing by more than 9.3%. By comparison, Ward 4, which still has the most total cases in the city, saw cases grow by 6.5% over that same period.
  • DC Health reported 100 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday – the first time the District has reported triple-digit numbers in more than two weeks.
  • Maryland set a new single-day testing record over the weekend. The state reported the results of 40,672 coronavirus tests on Saturday. That’s nearly 6,000 more tests than the previous record. Of those tests, only 2.7% were positive.
  • Maryland remains on its recent downward trajectory in new coronavirus cases. As of Monday, the seven-day average was down 17% from where it was two weeks ago.
  • As of Sunday, more than 100,000 Virginians have now been infected by the novel coronavirus. Of those, more than 2,300 have died.
  • Virginia surpassed its record-high moving average for daily new coronavirus cases on Saturday – averaging just under 1,200 cases over the previous week. Since Friday, the commonwealth has set new records for its seven-day average and single-day counts.

August 8:

  • D.C.’s transmission rate, which measures how many new infections a single case can be expected to cause, has now been below its goal of 1 for 10 consecutive days (as of July 22, the latest date available). Before that the District had been above this goal for two weeks in early July.
  • D.C.’s case trend has been mostly plateaued at an average of 65-75 new cases a day for the past two weeks. It has perhaps been on a slight downward trend over the past week.
  • Maryland reported a new record-low average percent positivity on Friday of 3.9%. The state has averaged nearly 25,000 COVID-19 tests a day for the past week.
  • It may be premature to say Maryland has begun a sustained downward trend, however, the state has seen day-to-day case number decreases for five of the past seven days.
  • Virginia set a new single-day record on Friday of 2,015 new cases of the coronavirus. That’s 400 more cases than the previous record, set on May 26.
  • Where did Friday’s record number of cases come from? The top five localities for the day were Prince William County (177), Fairfax County (154), Norfolk (133), Virginia Beach (123) and Henrico County (69).
  • August 7:
  • As of Thursday, more than 200,000 people in D.C., Maryland and Virginia have contracted the coronavirus. More than 6,300 of them have died.
  • D.C.’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is on a slightly declining trend. The District is now averaging 10 fewer cases a day (66) than it was two weeks ago; however, it’s still seeing twice as many cases as its lowest point.
  • Maryland has managed to keep its percent positivity for COVID-19 tests at record lows, despite an upward trend in cases, due to sustained high testing numbers. As of Thursday, the state had averaging more than 20,000 tests a day for the past 16 consecutive days.
  • For the first time in 12 days, Virginia’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases has dropped below the 1,000 mark. That represents its longest period above 1,000 since the pandemic began.
  • Deaths from the virus are on the rise in the commonwealth, however. As of Thursday, Virginia was averaging 23 new deaths a day from COVID-19 – its highest average since June 2.
  • August 6:
  • The Virginia Department of Health launched its coronavirus exposure notification app, called Covidwise, on Thursday. The app, developed by SpringML is the first in the nation to use the framework developed by tech giants Apple and Google.
  • DC Health says more than 10,000 people in the District have been cleared from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. That’s 80% of all positive coronavirus cases in the city.
  • Despite an upward trend in new cases, Maryland’s average percent positivity for coronavirus tests has continued heading down. As of Wednesday, it had reached a new low of 4.05%.
  • After a week of averaging double-digit daily death numbers, on Wednesday Maryland’s seven-day moving average dropped to eight new deaths a day.
  • As of Wednesday, more than 95,000 Virginians have now contracted the coronavirus. Of those, 2,274 have died.
  • The racial demographics of who is getting the coronavirus in Virginia have shifted since late June. Whereas then 40% of new cases were Latino and just 16% Black, as of Wednesday, now only 14% of new cases are reported among Latino residents, while 27% of new cases are reported among Black residents. Black Virginians, who make up about 20% of the state’s population, have been overrepresented among new COVID-19 cases since early July.

August 5:

  • D.C.’s daily coronavirus numbers have been on a slight downward trend since July 22, but remain elevated above their lows from mid- and late June.
  • DC Health says more than 200,000 people have now been tested for coronavirus in the District.
  • Maryland has been averaging more than 900 new cases a day for five of the past six days. That’s up 20% from where the state was just two weeks ago.
  • Maryland has seen a drop in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients over the past few days. It’s the first time the state has seen a significant drop in the number of hospitalized patients since early July – however, the number remains well above where it was a month ago.
  • Virginia has now been averaging more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus a day for 11 days straight – its longest such streak since the pandemic began.
  • Daily deaths from the coronavirus are on a significant upward trend in the commonwealth. Virginia is now averaging more than 20 new deaths a day from the virus – twice what it was two weeks ago.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators in Virginia has remained mostly flat over the past week, though the number of ICU patients has continued to climb.

August 4:

  • The District is still seeing an increasing trend of community transmission, reporting 39 new cases of the virus.
  • Virginia cases continue to grow, reporting 1,324 new cases.The 7-day positivity rate is at 7.1%.
  • Maryland reports 870 new cases, bringing the total above 91,000. Testing percent positivity remains at 4.5%

August 3:

  • The District reports one new death of the virus, marking the first death in over five days.
  • Virginia reports 981 cases of the virus, bringing the total in the commonwealth to 91,782.
  • Maryland has reported the results of more than 20,300 COVID-19 tests a day over the past week. That testing has helped keep its percent positivity at 4.5%, even as the number of new cases continues to rise.
  • The total number of cases in Maryland increases by 909, now at 90,274.

August 1:

  • No new deaths have been reported in the District, where testing positivity remains under 5% and case numbers have leveled after a recent uptick.
  • As of Saturday, Maryland now averages 902 cases of the virus and reports 12 new deaths.
  • The commonwealth reports 913 cases of the virus, bring the total to 90,801.
  • Virginia reports 41 new deaths from the coronavirus, the highest single-day count since May 28. It's day six of the commonwealth's sharp increase in deaths.

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

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