What to Know on Sept. 14 – NBC4 Washington

What to Know on Sept. 14 – NBC4 Washington

The University of Maryland says about 15% of all of its undergraduate courses will start to meeting face-to-face beginning Monday after the school reported a low campus positivity rate of 0.7%.

The school says that with its low number of coronavirus cases, it is safe to move ahead with gradual reopening on campus. Most classes are still being taught virtually.

However, a rise in cases among student athletes at UMD led to a pause in sports practice, and some fraternities and sororities reported cases as well. Cafeterias remain closed for sit-down meals, and no visitors are allowed in student dorms.

In the city of Alexandria, Virginia, anyone over the age of 10 faces a fine of up to $100 for not wearing a face covering in public, beginning Oct. 1, local officials say.

The new mask legislation was passed Saturday at an Alexandria city council meeting. Violators of the mask ordinance will get an initial warning before being issued a fine, which will be similar to a traffic ticket. 

The Smithsonian is set to reopen four more museums to the public beginning this Friday. The National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Portrait Gallery are among them.

The museums will have reduced hours of operation, and visitors will need to reserve free timed-entry passes here.

What the Data Shows

A total of 1,294 new cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths were reported in D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Monday.

D.C.’s seven-day average positivity rate reached an all time low of 2.1% on Monday. The average positivity rate in Maryland and Virginia is currently at 3.5% and 7.2%, respectively.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases stood steady at 44 cases in D.C. In Maryland, the seven-day average dropped from 662 last week to 538 today. In Virginia, it has stayed in the mid-900s for the past two weeks.

In Virginia, 698 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. That’s the lowest number of hospitalizations in the state since mid-July.

Hospitalizations have hovered around the 350 mark in Maryland and near 90 in D.C. for the past week.

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

  • 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.
  • Washington, D.C., has released an updated list of states that are considered “high risk” during the coronavirus pandemic and subject to travel restrictions. Here’s the list.

Reopening Tracker

  • 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

Coronavirus Deaths in Your City and State — and Across the US

These charts use daily coronavirus death data from Johns Hopkins University to show the seven-day moving average of deaths at the city, state and country level.

The impact of coronavirus varies enormously in the United States from one place to another.

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