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Coronavirus in the DMV: September 15

The coronavirus impact on the DMV continues. Here are the updates for September 15.

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.

THIS STORY IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST.

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

  • 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.

Reopening the DMV

The latest in reopening news:

Previous Updates

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.

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