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The tally of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia stands at 1,277 Thursday after Maryland reported an additional 157 cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 581. Virginia reported 69 more cases Thursday for a total of 461. The District reported 36 new cases Thursday, bringing its total to 271.

Here are some of the most significant and recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) condemned federal relief legislation that reduces the amount the District will receive by more than $700 million because it treats the city as a territory. But Bowser acknowledged that any funding increase is unlikely ahead of any future relief measures.

• The number of unemployment benefit claims filed in the D.C. region spiked since the coronavirus outbreak, mirroring a surge across the country. According to figures Thursday from the Labor Department, the number of claims filed last week was more than 102,000 for Maryland, Virginia and the District.

• President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Maryland, which Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said “will help provide much-needed funding” in the state’s fight against the virus.

• The number of novel coronavirus cases in the Washington region has climbed past 1,200, as Maryland, Virginia and the District reported their largest single-day increases Wednesday — followed by Maryland announcing another surge on Thursday. The region has 1,208 reported cases, with 20 virus-related deaths.

Trump approves disaster declaration for Maryland

12:52 a.m.
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President Trump has approved Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s request for a major disaster declaration in the state’s fight against the coronavirus.

“This declaration will help provide much-needed funding for state and local governments, and it will be another important step in Maryland’s aggressive and coordinated response to #COVID19,” Hogan (R) tweeted Thursday evening.

The governor pressed for the declaration, which will allow the state to be eligible for reimbursement for certain actions taken during the crisis, during a phone call with the White House, Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the declaration. States are eligible for funds for their efforts since the start of the pandemic on Jan. 20. Federal funds are available to governments on a cost-sharing basis. FEMA has named MaryAnn Tierney as the federal coordinating officer for Maryland.

Maryland has 581 known cases of the coronavirus, including four deaths. On Thursday, the state experienced its largest single-day increase, with 157 new cases.

D.C. announces 36 new coronavirus cases

12:20 a.m.
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D.C. officials on Thursday reported 36 new covid-19 cases, raising the District’s total of known cases to 271.

Seven of the new cases involved people in their 20s and 11 are people in their 30s, the city said. The Washington Post’s tally includes four cases involving patients who do not reside in the District and are not part of the city’s official tally.

Three people have died of the virus in the District: a 59-year-old man with a history of medical problems, a 65-year-old woman with underlying medical problems, and a 75-year-old woman who also had underlying health conditions.

Arlington farmers markets open for pre-orders only

12:04 a.m.
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Arlingtonians and others searching for fresh produce can return to one of the county’s three “winter markets” to directly buy food — but only if they pre-order.

To limit the exposure to the coronavirus, vendors are not permitted to display food or have on-site shopping. Vendors and customers have to maintain a six-foot separation while picking up the food, and only 10 people will be allowed at the market at a time.

“We are working hard to develop a new system to do business that supports our community of shoppers and vendors, and still abides by the governor’s executive order,” said Amy McWilliams, manager of the Pike Park Market on Columbia Pike. “We are still working out how we will be able to take pre-ordered sales and distribute them. We will post everything on our website when we have things in place.”

Arlington has three winter markets: Arlington Farmers Market, Pike Park Farmers Market and Westover Farmers Market. Go to each market’s website to find out how you can schedule your order. A list of all the markets is here.

FreshFarm Markets, which operate a number of farmers markets in the region, also have provided ways to order in advance, at their website.

Metro temporarily shuts two stations after contractor tests positive

11:46 p.m.
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A day after closing 17 stations indefinitely due to the impact of the coronavirus, Metro shut down two more stations on the Red Line — temporarily — on Thursday afternoon.

The Tenleytown-AU and Van Ness-UDC stations were closed after the transit agency learned a contractor who had recently performed work at the stations tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. The contractor worked overnight, when Metro was closed and not carrying passengers.

Metro’s pandemic task force — which is made of department leaders involved in emergency management, including the Metro Transit police — will decide when to reopen the stations, and Metro has started tracing the man’s actions while working.

“The task force is currently assessing the situation, but based on what we know at this point, it does not appear that there was any potential for close contact with customers,” Stessel said. “We are proceeding in an abundance of caution.”

Three Metro employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, including a Metrobus operator who was based in the Bladensburg division. The agency has shut down at least one other station temporarily in the past week after reports or suspicions the stations were contaminated from a sick person.

Metro closed 17 stations indefinitely Thursday to save on sanitizing supplies and to protect workers by decreasing staffing during the outbreak. Two other stations were previously closed to try to limit tourists and sightseer traffic near the Tidal Basin.

The transit agency also closed nine entrances to stations with multiple access points.

Four Montgomery Fire and Rescue personnel test positive for coronavirus

10:58 p.m.
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Four personnel at the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service have tested positive for covid-19, spokesman Pete Piringer said, marking the first known cases in the 2,700-strong department. The patients include both career and volunteer responders.

Piringer said 19 others are self-quarantining: nine under the instruction of county health officials, eight under the guidance of personal physicians and two voluntarily. Piringer declined to say whether the department is aware of how the personnel contracted the virus or whether their cases are related.

Montgomery County had 164 known cases of the novel coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, the most of any jurisdiction in Maryland.

Arlington firefighters question response to infection at firehouse

10:53 p.m.
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Why, after a firefighter in Arlington, Va., tested positive for covid-19 this week, are members of the squad who worked closely with him still being told to come in? Brian Lynch, president of the local firefighters union, says the department’s leadership has failed to answer that question.

“We don’t know how they came to this conclusion,” Lynch said. “We have members who think they should be in self-quarantine, but they’re being told they’re okay to come to work and they should be coming to work.”

Arlington officials say they did an in-depth investigation of the infected firefighter’s contacts before assessing that it was safe for all others to keep working.

“We hear their concerns, but we’re following the direction of the Public Health Department. They make the recommendation,” fire department spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli said.

Dozens of firefighters in the District have self-quarantined after several members of the force tested positive for covid-19.

The union for Arlington firefighters says the health department spoke only to the infected firefighter and not others he worked with. While firefighters have been wearing extra protective gear on calls, they take it off in the firehouse.

“You’re asking a guy who’s already sick who he talked to several days before. How do we know he remembers everything?” Lynch asked. “We think our members deserve to understand what that risk assessment is.”

Lynch said he understood why leadership might make this call if the department was severely understaffed, but that right now there were plenty of firefighters able to work.

A spokesman for the county public health department did not immediately return a request for comment.

Maryland to close all child-care facilities by Friday evening

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Maryland officials announced Thursday that all child-care programs in the state will close by Friday evening amid the coronavirus pandemic. During Maryland’s state of emergency, child-care programs will be allowed to serve only essential personnel, with care offered at no cost, according to a statement posted Thursday by State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon.

Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), said Salmon’s hope initially was that “providers could adapt and scale down their operations” to accommodate the slots for essential personnel, “but instead there was uncertainty. … So this is a reset.”

A spokeswoman for the Maryland State Department of Education said Thursday that it was unclear how many centers are open across the state. Salmon’s message said that if child-care programs are licensed and willing to provide care to children of essential personnel, they may reopen March 30, under certain conditions, including doing a thorough cleaning and serving only children of essential workers.

At a news conference Wednesday, Salmon ordered schools to remain closed for four more weeks. She also had said at the time that day-care and child-care centers would remain open, and the state’s focus was on ensuring that there were slots available for the children of essential personnel — particularly those who work in hospitals and health-care facilities. But that changed with Thursday’s announcement.

Salmon said the state had identified 1,200 slots for essential personnel. She said they hoped to double the number in the coming days. About two weeks ago, Hogan signed an emergency order to loosen some regulations on day-care facilities. The order gave Salmon the ability to work with regional and local officials to make child-care facilities available quickly to health-care workers and essential employees.

Salmon’s announcement Thursday said child-care programs for essential workers could be found on the state website or by calling 877-261-0060 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. State officials urged parents to keep children at home as the best option to protect them from the virus.

Baltimore police officer, two EMS technicians test positive for coronavirus, mayor says

9:59 p.m.
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A Baltimore police officer and two EMS technicians have tested positive for the coronavirus, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Thursday.

Young said the city is working to implement additional protocols to limit contact between first responders and the public. “The health and safety of our first responders is paramount,” he said.

The city health department said it is working with the fire and police departments to identify people who may have been exposed to the infected first responders. City officials said EMS technicians are required to wear full personal protective equipment, including goggles, masks, gowns and gloves. The police department received 3,000 masks from the fire department and 2,000 as a donation from Home Depot.

“We are taking this discovery very seriously,” Fire Chief Niles R. Ford said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do is marginalize our ability to serve the public, while we attempt to maintain our level of quality service.”

D.C. Council member calls on Federal Bureau of Prisons to address coronavirus concerns at halfway house

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D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Thursday to provide residents of Hope Village, the city’s only halfway house for men, with essential supplies and release as many as possible to home confinement amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter to Bureau of Prisons Assistant Director Hugh J. Hurwitz, Allen said Hope Village, in Southeast Washington, had ended “all non-emergency movement” of residents on March 20, “effectively terminating most residents’ employment and immediately isolating them in the facility without access to income."

Residents were also unable to receive “essentials” such as hand sanitizer, toiletries and food from family members, Allen said, adding that those eligible for home confinement should be released.

“Without immediate action, a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in Hope Village and the District’s other [residential re-entry centers] is inevitable,” the letter said.

Kevin Donahue, the District’s deputy mayor for public safety, said officials “have heard concerns from members in that community, friends, loved ones and attorneys” and had been in touch with the D.C. Corrections Information Council, an independent body that monitors conditions of “confinement at facilities where D.C. residents are incarcerated” nationwide.

“I have been on the phone with the head of that office. They have assured me they are having inspectors go into the facilities. They told me today that they were there today to inspect to make sure that they have the appropriate health supplies,” Donahue said.

Hope Village did not respond to a request for comment.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Justin Long said the agency has no evidence that residents aren’t receiving essential items. He noted the federal agency is waiving subsistence payments that residents make to support their confinement.

“We remain confident that residents are being provided ample sanitary supplies to include soap, water, and other basic necessities,” he said in a statement.

Phinis Jones, a spokesman for Hope Village, told the station the reports were not accurate.

“All of this noise about no soap, no water and that kind of thing is just fabricated,” Jones said. “It’s just not true. We have plenty of soap, plenty of water in every building.”

Opened in 1978, Hope Village has often been accused of providing substandard care. It briefly lost its federal contract in 2018, gaining it back only after a legal battle.

Ron Moten, a longtime D.C. activist who advocated building another halfway house in Northeast as an alternative to Hope Village, said he went with a group Tuesday to try to deliver supplies to the facility but was turned down by staff. Residents were gathering for meals in groups as large as 30, he said, despite official attempts to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.

“Hope Village is a mess,” Moten said. “The thing is a public health issue.”

Another death at Richmond-area rehabilitation center

8:51 p.m.
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A fourth resident from Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center outside Richmond has died of the coronavirus, and more residents and staff have tested positive for it, the facility announced Thursday.

Over the past 12 days, 17 Canterbury residents and six workers have tested positive for the virus, representing the largest known outbreak in the greater Washington area at long-term-care facilities. On Wednesday, the Henrico County center had announced its third death. At that point, 14 residents and four workers had been infected.

The facility also has an undisclosed number of residents awaiting test results. A top local health official said Wednesday that staff at Canterbury still lack the protective gear needed to fully contain the spread at the 190-bed center, which serves mostly seniors who are recovering from injuries or illnesses.

Two residents remained hospitalized, and workers are caring for the rest in a wing separate from other patients. An undisclosed number of suspected cases have been separately isolated.

Two more D.C. firefighters test positive, bringing total number infected to 12

8:32 p.m.
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Two more District firefighters have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number infected to 12, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department announced Thursday.

Doug Buchanan, the agency spokesman, said officials believe one of the firefighters had contact with another who previously tested positive. He said health officials have not yet determined how the other firefighter contracted the virus.

Officials also said health workers are reaching out to everyone the firefighters came into contact with in the past two weeks, including patients, hospital workers and colleagues.

Fire officials did not identify the stations to which the two firefighters were assigned.

Buchanan said that as of Thursday, 124 firefighters are under quarantine. That number had been as high as 141 but changes daily as some members return to duty. The department has more than 2,000 members. An assistant fire chief is among those who have tested positive.

D.C. was intentionally classified as a territory in virus aid bill, lawmakers say

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Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday that the coronavirus relief package expected to pass the House of Representatives on Friday deliberately classified the District of Columbia as a territory instead of a state, which means the city will get less than half the funding it was expecting.

Van Hollen (D-Md.) said he doesn’t know how the District got lumped in with five U.S. territories — the city is almost always treated like a full-fledged state by the federal government when it comes to grants, highway funding, education dollars and food assistance. He said he would try to ensure the District receives the money it believes it was due retroactively, as well as in a future relief package.

“I was enraged by the fact that the District of Columbia was going to be shortchanged,” Van Hollen said in an interview. “I immediately talked to Senator [Chuck] Schumer about it and was told that the Republicans had insisted on the formula the way it was in the bill.”

Asked why the District is not treated like a state in the bill, a spokesman for Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said: “Because Washington, D.C., is not a state. One can debate whether or not it should be, but that’s a separate discussion.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz questions emergency funding for Howard University

7:46 p.m.
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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) questioned emergency funding being directed to Howard University, suggesting that the allocation does not belong in a $2 trillion relief bill designed to blunt the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the economy.

“$13,000,000 in taxpayer funds could be going to families across the nation struggling to put food on the table in the midst of COVID-19,” Gaetz tweeted Wednesday. “Instead, it’s going to Howard University.”

But there’s a reason money was earmarked for Howard: Because the historically black university was directly chartered by Congress, it does not access the same federal funds as other colleges and universities. It receives an annual federal appropriation and has since the 1920s.

Without the emergency funding provided by the stimulus bill, Howard would get nothing.

Gallaudet University was also singled out in the bill. The university for the deaf and hard of hearing in the District was created by Congress in 1864 and is slated to receive $7 million from the stimulus bill.

“The proposed amount of emergency funding allotted to Howard is comparable to the support proposed for other colleges and universities in response to this unprecedented pandemic,” Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement. The funding also would assist Howard University’s hospital, which is one of the District’s designated covid-19 treatment facilities.

Gaetz’s comments quickly drew criticism. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a Howard graduate, tweeted that $13 million is a small amount of money compared with the proposed $30 billion education stabilization fund designed to assist primary, secondary and postsecondary schools. “Why do you take issue with money going to Howard, Congressman?” Harris asked in a tweet.

Rep. Alma S. Adams (D-N.C.), founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus, also reacted via Twitter.

“Congressional appropriations fund Howard University and Howard University Hospital,” Adams wrote. “It is absolutely appropriate for Howard University to receive emergency funding.”

The coronavirus relief bill passed the Senate on Wednesday and is expected to send about $14 billion to colleges and universities that are hemorrhaging cash. The allocation is $36 billion short of what higher education advocates had requested. The Wednesday-night vote ended days of negotiations over legislation originally introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) but which Democrats viewed as unfairly tilted toward corporations. The deal is expected to be passed in the House on Friday.

Street Sense newspaper suspends print publication

7:16 p.m.
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Since 2003, some struggling with homelessness in the District have sold Street Sense, a print newspaper focused on poverty and inequality, on city streets. On Tuesday, Brian Carome, Street Sense Media’s CEO, said it would suspend publication of its print edition, citing coronavirus concerns. Articles will still be published on the Street Sense website, and readers will be able to tip vendors through an online app.

Street Sense vendors bought papers for about 50 cents from Street Sense Media, a publisher that also provides case management and counseling services, and sold them for $2. Some who sold the paper also published stories in it — getting paid in additional papers to sell.

In an interview, Carome said all Street Sense vendors are “somewhere in proximity of that line of being homeless and being housed.” More than 40 have found housing while selling the paper in the past three years. Now, some will be left without their only source of income, and their housing may be jeopardized.

“All of us are getting a taste of what uncertainty feels like right now,” Carome said. “We’re deeply concerned about our colleagues who may not have resources to weather this pandemic.”

Martin Walker, 48, said he has been selling Street Sense on and off since 2005. He’s currently living on the streets and said homeless people have been left to “fend for ourselves” as churches and other service providers close amid the pandemic.

Martin said he has made as much as $600 per week selling Street Sense, but this week he made $35.

“Nobody wants to touch it due to this covid thing,” he said. “They don’t want to touch anything we’ve been touching.”