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Coronavirus in the DMV: October 15

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.

THIS STORY IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED.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 October 11, the most recent date available, DC Health reports that 11% of new cases in the city are coming from quarantined contacts. Those are people who have already been identified as having been in close contact with a positive case. That’s the city’s highest point yet for this metric – although still well below the 60% goal.
  • In Maryland, the average percent positivity for people under the age of 35 has been on a downward trend since early September, when it reached as high as 5.2%. As of Wednesday, that number had dropped to 3.4% -- just .5% off from the average for Marylanders above 35.
  • The percentage of cases represented by people under 30 in Maryland has also been on the decline. As of Wednesday, 36% of new cases in the state were in patients under 30 – a significant drop from mid-September, when that age group represented nearly half of all new cases in the state.
  • In late September, the number of coronavirus patients in ICU beds in Virginia had dropped below 200 for the first time since the state entered Phase 2. Since then, however, that number has begun to rise again. As of Thursday, 220 COVID-19 patients were occupying ICU beds in the state and more than 100 were on ventilators.

Reopening the DMV

The latest in reopening news:

  • County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced some youth sports registration would reopen to children in the county.
  • Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks advises against trick-or-treating this Halloween, per CDC guidelines. Haunted houses will also not be allowed in the county this year.
  • Prince George's County health authorities are also cautioning against "trunk or treat" events that draw people to parking lots where candy is given from trunks of cars – suggesting that residents participate in organized drive-thru alternatives.
  • Mayor Bowser extends D.C.'s public health emergency order until Dec. 31, 2020. Read the full order here.
  • D.C. Public Schools announces that a limited number of DCPS students can return to in-person learning starting in November. Read the detailed plan here.
  • DC health released its latest list of high-risk states.
  • D.C. announced a pilot that will allow a limited number of venues to host live entertainment. Here are the details.
  • 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.
  • Metro returns to a normal schedule with masks and social distancing still required. Here's the latest.

Previous Updates

October 14:

  • DC Health reports the city has been losing ground over the month of October in the speed at which test results are coming back. The city’s goal is for results to be available in two days or less – which was the case for most of September. Since October 1, however, the city has experienced a slowing of test results. As of this week, DC Health now reports it takes an average of three days for results to come back, which the city considers to be an indicator of insufficient testing capacity.  
  • The above is likely because the city has seen a corresponding surge in people getting tested since October 1 – the day reports about White House staffers testing positive began to come out. The number of COVID-19 tests conducted per million people in D.C. jumped by 30% in the week immediately following White House adviser Hope Hicks’ reported positive result.
  • Maryland is now averaging more than 600 new cases of the coronavirus a day for the first time since mid-September. As of Wednesday, the state’s seven-day average is 30% higher than where it began October.
  • Virginia is now averaging 1,131 new cases of the coronavirus a day. That’s the commonwealth’s highest seven-day average since mid-August, and just 6% less than its all-time high.
  • As of October 10 – the most recent date available – Virginia was reporting an average percent positivity rate for coronavirus tests of 4.6%. That’s the commonwealth’s lowest average positive rate for tests since the pandemic began. Relatedly, Virginia is now averaging nearly 18,000 COVID-19 tests a day – also its highest number since the start of the pandemic.

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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