State Watch

DC, Washington metro area set new records for COVID-19 cases

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The Washington, D.C., metro area reported a record number of COVID-19 cases Wednesday, surging past a seven-day average of more than 3,000 infections as the city rolls back some pandemic restrictions.

The Maryland, Virginia and D.C. region recorded a total of 3,514 new cases Wednesday, just shy of the 3,612 infections reported Saturday, The Washington Post reported.

D.C. alone saw 206 new cases Wednesday, the most in a single day since May.

The city’s seven-day average caseload is now 111, which is up from 36 on Oct. 1.

Maryland hit a daily caseload of 1,714 Wednesday, marking the highest level since May. The latest report sent the state’s seven-day average to a record high of 1,380 cases.

Virginia’s daily cases fell short of a record, but its seven-day average of 1,524 daily infections entered record territory.

Restaurants in Maryland will be required to reduce indoor dining capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Monday.

The District is still holding tight to its phase two reopening protocols allowing restaurants and bars to operate at 50 percent capacity, with limited service hours.

“We’ve been pretty conservative already, more conservative than our neighbors in Maryland or Virginia,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told the Washington City Paper. “I don’t know exactly the things they’re rolling back, but they’re probably rolling back some things we never advanced. We are constantly evaluating and we don’t have anything more to report.”

According to the District’s Department of Health, the city is reporting a seven-day average of 13 new infections per 100,000 residents.

The city’s medical facility capacity currently shows 4.4 percent of patients occupying medical beds for coronavirus-related issues.

The rise in cases in the D.C. metro area follows a weekend of impromptu outdoor celebrations and champagne cheers outside the White House after the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden winning the election.

Many were seen celebrating in the streets wearing masks for protection, although there was little room for social distancing outside the White House walls.

The ability to track the spread of COVID-19 related to the celebrations won’t be determined for some time, as most virus infections do not exhibit symptoms until up to six to fourteen days after exposure.

Tags Coronavirus disease Joe Biden Maryland Muriel Bowser Occupational safety and health Virginia Washington D.C.

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