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The number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia stood at 4,062 on Wednesday, with 1,986 cases in Maryland, 1,486 in Virginia and 590 in the District. The total of virus-driven deaths was 37 in Virginia, 34 in Maryland and 11 in the District, for a total of 82 fatalities in the region.

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:

• On Wednesday, Maryland reported 325 new infections, while Virginia added 234 cases. The District saw an increase of 91 cases.

• Twenty-five Democratic senators sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them restore full funding for coronavirus relief to the District, which was treated as a federal territory in the latest stimulus bill.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says a new decision on whether to extend school closures is likely within two weeks.

• The coronavirus pandemic became even more personal for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who announced the death of a close friend to covid-19.

April 1, 2020 at 9:36 PM EDT
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See The Post’s continuing coverage on how the coronavirus is affecting D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

April 1, 2020 at 8:38 PM EDT
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Six nursing home residents and a staff member test positive in Baltimore County

By Ann Marimow

Baltimore County health officials announced Wednesday that six residents and a staff member at a Parkville, Md., nursing home have tested positive for covid-19. The affected residents at Genesis Loch Raven Center are in their 50s to 80s, according to the county’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The staff member who tested positive at the 92-person facility has since been cleared to return to work, according to a statement from the department.

Affected residents are isolated in their rooms. The facility has also restricted visitors, suspended communal dining and is checking symptoms daily of both residents and staff.

“This pandemic is unprecedented. It is extremely important to do everything possible to mitigate these types of occurrences,” Baltimore County Health Officer Gregory Wm. Branch said in a statement on the outbreak first reported by the Baltimore Sun.

Branch said the department is working with the center “to ensure that guidance provided by the Maryland Department of Health is in place. The safety and well being of both patients and staff continues to be our primary focus.”

April 1, 2020 at 7:52 PM EDT
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Union urges D.C. to treat grocery store workers like first responders after Giant employee contracts coronavirus

By Fenit Nirappil

A union representing D.C. grocery store workers is urging city officials to treat them like first responders after an employee at the Giant in Columbia Heights tested positive for covid-19. Jonathan Williams, a spokesman for United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, said his group has asked the office of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) to allow grocery stores’ staff to qualify for free testing and protective supplies such as masks and gloves.

“Our concern is they are not only exposed to hundreds of customers a day and thousands of them a week, but customers are also exposed to them and we need to make sure they are not vectors for the disease,” Williams said.

Williams declined to provide more detail on the Giant employee, a union member, who tested positive. The union has praised Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for classifying grocery store workers as “essential,” providing access to free child care, but it is also pushing Hogan to treat members as first responders. The District this week launched a testing site for local law enforcement officials.

“We want to get in line with all of these resources and protections available to EMTs, firefighters and police officers because they are not the only ones on the front lines right now,” Williams said.

A spokesman for Giant on Wednesday confirmed an employee who has not worked at the location since March 19 tested positive for covid-19. The store has been cleaned and disinfected, while the employee who tested positive and others who worked with the employee have been asked to self-quarantine and will receive sick pay, the spokesman said.

April 1, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT
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Maria Linda Villanueva Sun thought she had the flu. She died of covid-19.

By Laura Vozzella

Maria Linda Villanueva Sun was, at various times in her life, a restaurateur, interior designer, accountant, stay-at-home mom and Army wife. It was the last of these roles that brought the longtime San Francisco Bay-area resident to Newport News, Va., where her husband had recently been transferred to Fort Eustis.

The couple bought a house in October and were still in the process of moving some items from the West Coast to the East when Sun, 61, died of covid-19 on March 25.

Sun was supposed to have a visit from a daughter and son-in-law March 14, but she told them not to come: Both she and her husband were feeling ill. Probably the flu, Sun said. A week earlier, she had flown to California and back to attend to some of the items that still needed moving.

On March 17, Sun was admitted to Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital for pneumonia. She soon tested positive for the virus — the first confirmed case in Newport News, according to her daughter Irene V. Nemesio of Arlington.

April 1, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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Prince George’s County launches business relief fund

By Rachel Chason

Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) announced a new public-private relief fund Wednesday to help small businesses struggling because of covid-19. In a virtual meeting, the County Council approved $10 million in funding from the county’s Economic Development Corp. Another $5 million will come from local banks and private groups.

“These resources will be critical to help sustain our business and non-profit communities as we weather this storm,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “Coronavirus will not have the final say, and we will continue leveraging all of our resources and partnerships to ensure we can make it through this unprecedented crisis together.”

Applications for funding will open April 13, and small businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to $100,000 and grant funding of up to $10,000. The Economic Development Corp. will host a webinar Thursday at 9 a.m. to update the business community on the relief fund and other resources.

April 1, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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Md. governor warns of surge in coronavirus cases as Montgomery County records four new covid-19 deaths

By Ovetta Wiggins and Rebecca Tan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday he knows it is a “tremendous hardship” for residents to adhere to the stay-at-home directive but that the state’s new measures are “saving your own life and the lives of your friends and family and the lives of Marylanders.”

Hogan continued to warn residents that the spread of the virus is going to get worse.

“The surge, unfortunately, is just starting,” he said in an interview on Fox45 Baltimore. “Everyone is involved in helping us to slow it. But the numbers are going to climb.”

Hogan also announced Wednesday that he signed an executive order to give patients additional options for accessing medical care. The guidelines, which had only included phone calls, were broadened to include email consultations.

In Montgomery County, four new covid-19 deaths were announced Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to five, according to county and state officials.

One of the residents, a man in his 60s, was admitted to the hospital last Friday with symptoms suggesting a respiratory illness, local health officials said. He submitted a sample for a coronavirus test, but died Friday before his results were returned. His test results later showed he had been positive for the virus.

The man, who officials did not name, had not recently traveled out of the region or interacted with a known coronavirus patient, suggesting he contracted the virus through community transmission, health officials said.

“Please know we are doing everything we can to slow the spread and lessen the impact,” County Executive Marc Elrich (D) said in a statement. “At this moment, when there is no treatment or cure, the actions of each of us can make a difference. Please be kind to one another.”

April 1, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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D.C. mayor says new decision on extending school closures is likely within two weeks

By Fenit Nirappil

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Wednesday that she will “probably” make an announcement in the next two weeks on whether school closures will continue past April 24.

“It will all be driven by our ability to show in the city that we have decreasing infection in our city,” Bowser said in a call with community leaders.

Virginia has shut down in-person classes for the rest of the academic school year, while Maryland’s school closures also extend through April 24.

Nearly 600 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the District, with the number of new cases growing daily.

D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said Wednesday that 80 of the city’s 590 known coronavirus cases have been hospitalized, about 14 percent. Nesbitt also said those who have been hospitalized trend older, with an average age of 59, even though half of the District’s patients are 40 or younger. About a quarter of people who tested positive for coronavirus, 142, have recovered.

April 1, 2020 at 5:29 PM EDT
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Sent home from the hospital with a pneumonia diagnosis, he died days later of covid-19

By Laura Vozzella

RICHMOND — Sterling E. Matthews and his wife were already busy raising their young son when they decided to take in a baby niece whose own parents weren't able to care for her.

“He just brought her on in, no fuss,” Alice Matthews recalled Wednesday, one day after her husband died of covid-19 at a suburban Richmond hospital. “He just was that kind of a man. He saw a need.”

Matthews, 60, who lived south of Richmond in Chester, Va., died Tuesday at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center.

He first went to the hospital on March 23 seeking to be tested for the novel coronavirus, but he was told he had pneumonia and was sent home, Alice Matthews said. His health continued to deteriorate, and on Friday, he went back to St. Francis by ambulance. He was admitted and tested positive for the virus.

Alice Matthews and other family members were not allowed to visit him in the hospital. She talked to him twice before he died.

April 1, 2020 at 4:55 PM EDT
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Maryland’s governor announces death of his friend Jerry Manley to covid-19

By Ann Marimow

The coronavirus pandemic has become even more personal for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who announced Wednesday the death of a close friend to covid-19.

“Earlier this week, I lost a good friend, fellow Marylander, and all-around great guy,” Hogan wrote in a tweet featuring photos of his late friend Jerry Manley.

Hogan described Manley, a veteran Prince George’s County law enforcement official, as a dedicated advocate for the Special Olympics in Maryland and the Children’s National Hospital.

“The First Lady and I are praying for Jerry’s family, friends, and all who loved him,” Hogan wrote.

Hogan’s message came on a day when the number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia stood at 4,062.

April 1, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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Marymount professor uses 3-D printing to create face shields for medical workers

By Patricia Sullivan

A Marymount University professor, assisted by a team of educators and tech innovators, has built and shipped more than 250 laser-printed face shields to medical providers in Arlington, Annandale, Woodbridge and Hyattsville as well as to New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Florida and California.

“It has been quite an adventure to build up a nationwide distribution network to meet the needs that are out there, all while turning my home into a 3-D printing farm,” said Eric Bubar, an associate professor of biology and physical sciences at the Arlington school. “As fast as I crank them out, they’re scooped up by medical providers.”

Working with the D.C. chapter of Enabling the Future, a global community of volunteers who provide 3-D-printed prosthetics to those in need, Bubar said the face shields use two Czech and Swedish open-source designs. Bubar worked with Maricé Morales, a Maryland state delegate, to have shields sent to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, one of the medical centers hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, where her sister works.

In addition, Bubar has worked with Peter von Elling and Eric Offerman at Nova Labs, a maker space in Reston, which is providing laser cutting services to produce the clear shield pieces in bulk. A Marymount student who is also a volunteer EMT has printed parts on his home printer. Marymount interior design Professors Doug Seidler and Moira Denson lent their printing expertise and industry connections.

Marymount donated money to pay for the materials for laser cutting. Each face shield is composed of roughly $4 to $5 in separate raw materials, which volunteers have covered. In the past week, a GoFundMe account has raised about $6,500 of their $10,000 goal. Other schools and universities have joined in.

Amanda Jarvis, head of Mason Innovation Exchange at George Mason University, is working to create 3-D printed portions of the face shields to match the quantity of laser-cut pieces being produced. Matt Cupples, a makerspace teacher in Arlington Public Schools, is printing more face shields with the assistance of volunteers in his school system.

Bubar is still looking for help from experienced laser printers at Marymount has set up a drop box outside the guardhouse at the university’s main entrance on North Glebe Road in Arlington, where volunteers can leave their 3-D-printed pieces to be paired with shields that are being laser-cut in bulk by Nova Labs volunteers.

April 1, 2020 at 4:10 PM EDT
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Va. governor says coronavirus cases likely to peak in the state by late May

By Gregory S. Schneider

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Wednesday that he is preparing the state for a peak in coronavirus cases sometime in the next four to eight weeks.

“While we continue to examine the available models about when Virginia’s cases will surge, we currently expect that will be some time between late April and late May,” Northam said in a news briefing. “I am already thinking and planning about how we can land this plane on the backside of the curve.”

Northam emphasized the need for residents to follow the stay-at-home order he issued Monday, acknowledging that it will cause short-term hardship but saying it’s necessary to keep the coronavirus from spreading at a greater rate.

“The sooner we can put this crisis behind us the sooner our lives will return to normal and the sooner our economy will rebound,” he said, adding that “I want Virginians to be realistic in their expectations. You need to know the truth, no sugarcoating.”

The state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have identified three sites as possible locations for a temporary hospital facility for use when the outbreak peaks: the former ExxonMobil campus in Fairfax near Inova Fairfax Hospital; the Hampton Convention Center in Hampton Roads; and a site in Richmond he did not disclose. Northam said he will announce a decision Friday regarding moving ahead with some or all of those sites. The evaluation team will look at further possible sites in Charlottesville and Roanoke in the coming days, he said.

The state received its third shipment of personal protective equipment from the national stockpile Wednesday, including face shields, gowns and masks.

“But we need more,” Northam said. “We continue to work all available options,” including putting pressure on companies in the state to help produce the protective gear.

The governor also acknowledged that his declaration of a state emergency and his stay-at-home order, both of which run through June 10, will affect two election cycles. Localities are scheduled to hold elections in May, and state primaries are set for June 9. The Republican Party of Virginia has implied that Northam was looking to suppress turnout for the primary to select a GOP opponent for incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D).

“I consider elections to be a fundamental democratic event,” Northam said, adding that his administration is “continuing to work through the best options for how to hold these elections.”

In the meantime, Northam said he encouraged Virginians to vote by mail, suggesting that they could use a neighbor to witness their ballot signature “at a safe distance.”

April 1, 2020 at 1:23 PM EDT
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D.C. resident, 71, dies at home of covid-19

By Darran Simon

A 71-year-old woman died Tuesday of covid-19 at her home in Southeast Washington, officials said Wednesday.

The woman had not been previously tested, D.C. Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said. She said officials learned of the woman’s positive covid-19 status at the time of her death.

The woman is the fourth covid-19 victim in the District who wasn’t hospitalized and hadn’t been tested, according to the District. Officials have said they are concerned that three of the four victims didn’t appear to seek medical treatment after experiencing symptoms. It wasn’t immediately known if the woman had sought treatment.

Nesbitt said officials are urging people to stay at home to help reduce the spread of the disease. D.C. is under a stay-at-home order issued by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Monday.

“However, any individual who is demonstrating a sign or symptom of covid-19, or is not in their usual state of health, should call their health-care provider and get advice as to what should be done,” Nesbitt said.

D.C. officials reported 91 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, including the death of the 71-year-old woman and another victim.

Eleven people have died of the coronavirus in Washington. The District has had 590 positive coronavirus cases, according to a Washington Post analysis. The Post’s tally includes four cases of people who do not reside in the District and are not part of the city’s official count.

There are five positive cases among homeless individuals, and 49 people are in quarantine, Bowser said.

April 1, 2020 at 1:09 PM EDT
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Maryland to pay essential state employees more money for working during pandemic

By Ovetta Wiggins

Maryland plans to spend $3.7 million to boost pay to about 15,000 state employees who are working during the pandemic.

“We plan to institute a covid-19 response pay differential for certain groups of employees … being called upon to report to work when most other Marylanders are being asked to remain at home,” Cynthia A. Kollner, the executive director of the Office of Personnel Services and Benefits, wrote to union representatives.

Eligible employees will receive differential pay of $3.13 for each additional hour worked, or $250 per pay period. The pay increase took effect Wednesday and will end May 5, unless extended by the state budget secretary.

April 1, 2020 at 12:52 PM EDT
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Family, friends mourn Prince George’s veteran who died of coronavirus

By Rachel Chason

If there was an important show at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, then you could bet Eastern Stewart Jr. would be scheduled.

Stewart, a military veteran, could mange a crowd and de-escalate conflict like no one else, staff there said. He was stern but never mean. As house manager, he helped organize the ushers.

“He could handle anything,” said Jarell Benson, who was Stewart’s supervisor. “I got a lot of wisdom from him.”

Stewart, who was known by most as “Stu,” died Saturday of complications related to the novel coronavirus, said his wife, Wanda Stewart. He was 71 and lived in Bowie.

He and Wanda had worked for nearly a decade at the 800-seat Bowie performing arts center, which is located between Bowie High School and Bowie Library and run partly by Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Stewart was the second school system employee to die in the pandemic. Terrance Burke, a school counselor and coach at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, died Friday. In March, seven residents of Prince George’s County died because of complications from the virus, according to the health department.

A native of New Orleans, Stewart was a sharp dresser who usually wore suits and whose outfits were always perfectly color-coordinated, said those who knew him. On Valentine’s Day, he would wear red shoes and a red jacket.

“It was an A-plus, always,” his friend Donna Lee remembered.