Virginia reports new case record on Thursday; DC looks to reopen

Northern Virginia’s daily update on COVID-19 and how it’s impacting the region.

illustration of woman with ponytail on orange background wearing mask
© James Thew / stock.adobe.com

There are currently 5,127,125 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, around the world and 1,557,758 confirmed cases across the country. The global total number of deaths stands at 333,398, and the United States’ at 94,729. Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University has been keeping up-to-date information through an interactive map.

As of Friday morning, Virginia had 34,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,093 people hospitalized, 1,099 deaths and 216,890 people tested. Fairfax has the highest total number of cases, with 8,580 to date, with 1,165 hospitalized and 309 deaths. Arlington has reported 1,763 cases with 346 hospitalized and 89 deaths. Alexandria has 1,627 cases with 171 hospitalized and 37 deaths. Loudoun County has 1,700 cases with 147 hospitalized and 49 deaths and Prince William County has 5,149 cases (including Manassas and Manassas City), with 491 hospitalized and 88 deaths. You can keep up with the commonwealth’s daily updates here. (Virginia Department of Health

Regional
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, tallied in at 85,456 in the DMV on Friday morning. Maryland reported 43,531 cases, Virginia reported 34,137 and Washington, DC reported 7,788. The death toll has reached a total of 3,670, with 2,159 in Maryland, 1,099 in Virginia and 412 in DC. (Virginia Department of Health; Maryland Department of Health; Stay Home DC!)

What do this week’s numbers mean?
On Friday, after several days of increased testing in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, the DMV reported 2,674 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the third-highest number since the beginning of the outbreak. Virginia reported a record of 1,229 new cases, which is likely linked to the growing number of individuals getting tested. Fairfax County, the state’s largest jurisdiction with the highest number of cases, reported 417 cases on Thursday. As of Friday morning, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has yet to announce a phase one plan for Northern Virginia after his original proposed date of one week from now, Friday, May 29. (The Washington Post

Local
WMATA will kick off its summer shutdown starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 23. Metro will close nine stations along the Orange and Silver Lines in order to begin platform reconstruction, with the expected closures to last though Labor Day weekend. All stations west of Ballston-MU will be closed including Vienna/Fairfax GMU, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East. The Orange Line will only operate between Ballston-MU and New Carrollton and offer varied shuttle services. No Silver Line trains will operate. (WTOP

Regional
Starting Saturday, May 23, Shenandoah National Park will reopen access to Skyline Drive and offer access to over 480 miles of trails. The park closed to drivers on April 4, due to the global pandemic, but is reopening following the guidance of the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities. But, Old Rag Mountain and Whiteoak Canyon/Cedar Run will remain closed, as well as all park boundary trailheads in Rappahannock County. (Inside NoVA 

Regional
On May 21, DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced that the nation’s capital could begin easing restrictions as soon as May 29. The first wave of reopening would include barber shops and hair salons by appointment, outdoor restaurant dining, parks, fields, golf courses and tennis courts, worship services for no more than 10 people, and curbside service for nonessential businesses. Summer camps, pools, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues would not be included in the first phase. (The Washington Post

Regional
DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s team of advisers has said the students of Washington, DC should not return to school in full, in-person capacity before there is a widely distributed vaccine or cure for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. In a report released Thursday, the group recommends a four-phase reopening, where students return to school on modified schedules, switching between in-person and remote learning depending on the day, and even if the schools can accommodate the students, families should not be required to send their children to school buildings if they feel unsafe, and should have the option of full-time distance learning. Since the city has yet to enter a phase one of reopening, much of the predictions are likely to change as local, state and federal leaders ponder what school could look like in the fall. (The Washington Post)

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