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The number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia stood at 6,442 Saturday, with 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District. The total of virus-related deaths was 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in the District, for a total of 126 fatalities.

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:

• Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Friday that officials estimate about 93,000 people could be become infected with covid-19 in the city, based on the District’s projections. See more about the models the city uses to project infections.

• Earl Stoddard, the head of Montgomery County’s emergency management office said that the county’s hospitals are starting to feel the strain of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

• George Washington University Hospital will begin drive-through testing for the novel coronavirus beginning Monday in Foggy Bottom.

10:22 p.m.
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Answering your questions about the coronavirus in the D.C. area

Here’s the latest: The number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus climbed to 6,442 in Virginia, Maryland and the District as of noon Saturday, with 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 reported in the District. The regional death toll reached 126.

The three leaders of Maryland, Virginia and the District have issued “stay-at-home” orders, mandating broad, enforceable restrictions on where residents can go in an effort to limit the virus’s spread. What do they mean? Stay home unless you must travel for essential needs such as groceries, pharmaceuticals, medical care, work and limited exercise. We break it all down here.

We know you have many more questions about the coronavirus outbreak in the D.C.-region. You’ll find answers to many of those, including what to do if your landlord is threatening eviction, how to donate medical items and the latest changes to Metro and Metrobus service in this list of frequently asked questions.

10:02 p.m.
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Md. Office of the Public Defenders office seeks expedited release for some

Leaders from across Maryland’s Office of the Public Defender are asking Mary Ellen Barbera, chief judge of the state’s court of appeals, to use her emergency powers to “enable and expedite” the release of people confined in the state’s prisons and jails.

The letter, sent this week, is separate from a petition filed on Friday that sought the release of juveniles currently in the system, and outlines the risk incarceration poses to this particular population.

“In the early days of this pandemic, it is evident that the rapid spread of this virus cannot be contained in places where people are confined in close quarters, such as nursing homes, cruise ships, or aircraft carriers,” the letter stated. “The largest population of individuals domiciled together reside in Maryland’s jails and prisons. Many of those who are confined in or work in these facilities are in one or more of the high-risk categories identified by the CDC. The need for staff to enter and exit multiple times per day, and the lack of widespread rapid testing to identify asymptomatic individuals who may enter the facility and spread the disease, makes it inevitable that COVID-19 will spread in these facilities very fast and very soon.”

As of Friday, two additional inmates and 10 civilians have tested positive for covid-19 within Maryland’s sprawling prison system, officials said. That brings the total confirmed positive cases from the state’s prisons to 15 — three inmates, four correctional officers and eight contract workers, officials said.

“Public defenders have been working nonstop to address the heightened dangers for our incarcerated clients,” said Maryland Public Defender Paul DeWolfe in a statement. “While we have raised concerns about the dangers in Maryland’s prisons and jails since the state of emergency began in early March, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in multiple correctional facilities reported this week heighten the need for immediate judicial intervention.”

Among the measure sought under the Chief Judge’s emergency powers:

  • Directing judges to release people pending sentencing or appeal if doing so would not unreasonably jeopardize public safety and to expeditiously schedule hearings for motions for modification or reduction of sentence.
  • Removing the time barriers to seeking sentence reconsideration for highly vulnerable individuals (over age 60 and/or infirm) and for individuals within 90 days of release.
  • Limiting pretrial detention to individuals for whom the danger posed by release outweighs the danger of incarceration during the pandemic
  • Directing each administrative judge to work with OPD and the local State’s Attorney’s Office to expedite bail reviews and eliminate unnecessary detention.
  • Suspending or rescinding warrants issued for failures to appear, probation violations, and non-technical violations unless a judge finds the danger to remaining at liberty outweighs the dangers of the pandemic.

The letter acknowledges that some judges and prosecutors have collaborated to reduce the number of those incarcerated but notes that the approach, " . . . is not uniform around the state, with some refusing to reconsider prior detention decisions or expressing the dangerously misinformed view that people are safer inside a jail or prison."

9:25 p.m.
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Three more deaths at the District’s VA Medical Center

Three more patients have died at the VA Medical Center in the District of complications related to the novel corona virus, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Saturday, bringing the virus death toll there to five.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that a second VA patient in the District has died of complications related to the novel corona virus. The patient, “in their 70s,” died at the VA hospital in Washington on April 2. Another patient, “in their 50s,” died there of corona on March 27. The VA has declined to say if the victims are men or women.

The VA said it is now treating 17 virus cases in the District VA hospital, one more than Thursday, and it is monitoring 40 outpatient cases, five more than Thursday.The VA reported that it has 2,184 corona cases nationwide, 263 more than Thursday, and 78 deaths, ten more than Thursday.

8:36 p.m.
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D.C. offers advice on safe sex during a pandemic

Stay in. Social distance. Don’t touch your face.

Health experts have been full of advice about how to avoid being infected with Covid-19.

On Saturday, D.C. officials add a few more tips focused on how to stay safe if you just have to get close. That’s right: a guide on how to have safe sex during a pandemic.

You get COVID-19 from droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. You also get it from saliva and mucus. You can get it from touching a surface that was recently touched by a person with COVID-19.
D.C. Government

And adds a few handy tips:

  • Kissing can spread coronavirus. Consider not kissing anyone you do not know or who you are not sure has been isolated for 14 days.
  • Only have sex or kiss if both partners are feeling well. Do not engage in sexual activity with anyone experiencing the fever, coughing, shortness of breath and other symptoms of covid-19,the disease caused by coronavirus. Sex and close contact will be waiting for you when you are feeling better.
  • If you or your partner are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.

Check out the full version here.

7:53 p.m.
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Second Prince George’s County officer tests positive for covid-19

Prince George’s County Police officials said a second officer has tested positive for covid-19.

Officials at the department were notified about the test result on Saturday. In keeping with medical privacy laws, no additional information will be released about the officer’s identity. However, the department is reaching out to those who may have had recent contact with the officer.

“Our thoughts are with both of our officers who have now tested positive," said Chief Hank Stawinski. "We wish them both well and have offered them our full support.”

A deep cleaning of the officer’s work space will take place today.

7:31 p.m.
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It started with two cases, then dozens: Inside Maryland’s worst coronavirus outbreak

Seventy-seven out of 95 residents at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Carroll County, Md., have tested positive for coronavirus in a little over a week. Six patients have died, and the staff was overwhlemed.

The crisis at Pleasant View is an East Coast version of the tragedy at Life Care Center of Kirkland in a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash., where scores of elderly patients were sickened by covid-19, and 40 died. It foreshadows challenges other nursing homes face across the country and in the greater Washington area as the pandemic bears down.

Here’s our in-depth account of what happened inside one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks so far in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Read the full story here.

7:12 p.m.
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Two more D.C. jail inmates test positive for coronavirus

Officials with the D.C. Department of Corrections said Saturday that two more inmates have tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of those infected to 14.

The two newest cases involve a 32-year-old male resident and a 35-year-old female resident.

The male resident was previously housed in the Correctional Treatment Facility, D building. Officials said he is currently in isolation in the Special Management unit B building. The woman was previously housed in the Correctional Treatment Facility E building. On April 1, she was quarantined as a precautionary measure after someone from the unit tested positive. The woman is currently in isolation oi the Female Isolation Unit. Both inmates are being monitored according to guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials said the D.C. Department of Corrections medical department and Unity Healthcare will continue working with D.C. Health on contract tracing efforts and to continue to protect others housed in Department of Correction facilities.

6:58 p.m.
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Business is booming but liquor store owner says he’ll shut down for two weeks to protect employees

Unlike many businesses, Michael Sands’ store isn’t getting crushed by the coronavirus; in fact, business has been up. He sells liquor.

The mid-March week before his store, Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits, in Northwest D.C., one of the city’s largest liquor stores, went to curbside and delivery, business was up more than 60 percent. On St. Patrick’s Day, there were about 800 customers in the store, compared to the usual 500. And even since customers have been barred from coming in the store, sales have been running as they’d normally be.

But Saturday at 5 p.m. Sands is temporarily shutting down Calvert Woodley, which has been open since 1982. And continuing to pay his 48 employees. For now, anyway.

“Everyone has been told to stay home and keep distance, and our employees are all here," he said. "We don’t have customers in the store, but they’re around each other all day. With millions of [Americans] still out and about, this will all take longer. So I thought: If everyone is home, and we can protect our employees, why not?” he told the Post. “I want to be able to send them home healthy.”

Sands, who took the store over from his father in 1998, said Saturday that he had been thinking for awhile about how to close, but was concerned about putting people out of work even as the business – unlike so many – was still making good money. He was waiting to find out if the store qualified for coronavirus-related federal loan programs, and while he is reading in the news that the program is having a bumpy start, he believes he has qualified for the paycheck protection that will cover his payroll while the store is closed.

“If I had unlimited funds, I would have closed a few weeks ago, but that’s not reality and I didn’t want to put 48 employees – including some that have been here longer than me – on the unemployment line,” said Sands.

Two weeks is what he can afford for now, based on current earnings – and hopefully by later this month, they’ll get federal loan money to keep paying staff and extend the closure, he said. Or else, they’ll reopen.

While Sands isn’t complaining – he knows how lucky he is to still have his business – he says work has been “crazy” due to the virus. First there was the crush of people buying extra because they didn’t know if stores would close, and then there was a complete shift in how the place operated once they went to curbside pickup.

In normal times, customers do the work of getting the product off the shelves, swiping their own cards, etc. With the virus, once he went to curbside pickup, Sands tightened up the hours the store was open and had all his employees working the same 9-5 shifts, running around the store pulling items off the shelves, packaging them, managing the on-line ordering side of things and dealing with all the payments.

“It was crazy,” he said. "And it seemed to totally violate social distancing.”

After the shutdown, Sands will have time to visit with his Dad, who just retired on Dec. 31.

“I offered him the store back,” Sands joked, “but he didn’t want it.”

5:41 p.m.
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Sidwell Friends School says campus will remain closed

Sidwell Friends School announced Saturday that its campuses will remain closed through the end of the academic year, but that students will continue classes via distance learning.

The head of the elite private school, which has two campuses, one in Northwest Washington and one in Bethesda, Md., informed parents of the decision early Saturday morning. The closure is part of an effort by academic institutions across the country to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Bryan Garman, Sidwell’s head of school, wrote in a letter to families that the school’s board met Friday and made the decision. He said the board consulted with public health experts and determined there was no plausible way for the school to reopen its doors this semester.

In the letter, he wrote the school would convene a committee to determine how it could celebrate the graduating senior class.

“The situation is difficult for everyone, but today I am feeling especially sad for our students, who are deeply missed by all of us,” he wrote. "The pandemic has been disruptive to all of them, but the seniors have felt the deepest impact.

Public schools systems in the District and Maryland suburbs have not yet said if they will remain closed through the academic year.

The District is scheduled to reopen its schools on April 27, though D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said last week that the District’s latest cornavirus models suggest it would be unlikely that they will be able to reopen then.

In Virginia, all public and private schools are closed through the end of the academic year.

3:29 p.m.
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Death toll in the D.C. area reaches 126 from covid-19

Health officials in the D.C. area reported 21 new covid-19 deaths on Saturday morning, as case numbers swelled to 6,442.

Maryland, where there are 3,126 known novel coronavirus infections, reported 10 new deaths overnight, five in Prince George’s County. The suburb, which lies just outside D.C., also added 90 new cases, the most of any jurisdiction in the state.

Neighboring Montgomery County added 74 new cases, but no new deaths. Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City added two fatalities each.

Virginia’s total case numbers rose to 2,410. State health officials reported five new deaths, but did not release information about where those deaths occurred.

D.C. reported 145 new cases -- its third straight day of record numbers. It also reported six new deaths, bringing the overall total to 21. More than 60 percent of known patients in D.C. are between the ages 19 and 50; about 36 percent are older than 50.

2:49 p.m.
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Retired Md. police sergeant beloved for his generosity and wisecracking humor, dies of covid-19

Here’s a story Julie O’Donnell Buck tells about her friend Jerry Manley, a gregarious, kindhearted neighbor, 6 feet tall and 300 pounds, a 58-year-old retired police sergeant beloved for his generosity and wisecracking humor, a devoted volunteer for charities and, now, a fatal casualty of covid-19.

A few summers ago, when Buck, in her mid-40s, was undergoing weeks of daily radiation therapy for cancer, her husband wasn’t always able to drive her to appointments 25 miles from their home in Calvert County, Md. So Manley stepped in to help a half-dozen times.

“He’d come by and pick me up,” Buck recalled. “He was just so sweet. He loved his music, and he’d have his ’70s station on. Teddy Pendergrass. He’d sing to lighten the mood. . . . When we got there, he’d never go in. He’d bring his coffee and newspaper and wait in the car, and as soon as he’d see me come out, he’d hop out, run around the car, and he’d look at me and say, ‘Are you okay?’ He’d say, ‘Let me give you a hug.’ ”

Manley, a married father of four, was hospitalized last week and died Tuesday at Calvert Health Medical Center. He was one of more than 100 novel coronavirus fatalities in Maryland, Virginia and the District, a toll that keeps rising.

Read more about the man, Gov. Larry Hogan (R), called in a tweet: “A good friend, a fellow Marylander and all-around great guy.”

2:25 p.m.
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D.C. fire officials report five new coronavirus cases

Five more members of the D.C. fire department have tested positive for the coronavirus, the department announced Friday night, bringing to 28 the number of firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians who have fallen ill.

The newly infected members are at home in quarantine, the department said. No other information was immediately made public.

The total number of fire department members out on quarantine is 168. Another 158 members have returned to work.

2:09 p.m.
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Gov. Larry Hogan urges prayer for those battling the coronavirus

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) called for a statewide moment of prayer and reflection at noon on Sunday, part of an effort to support the sick, those who have died and for healthcare workers and others on the front lines battling the novel coronavirus.

“In the Christian faith we use this time to reflect on sacrifice of one for the redemption of many,” said Hogan referring to Holy Week. “Regardless of your own faith or beliefs each and everyone of us is now being asked to make sacrifices that may very well help us save the lives of others.”

2:06 p.m.
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Montgomery County hospitals starting to feel the strain of coronavirus outbreak

Hospitals in Montgomery County are beginning to experience the strain of the coronavirus crisis, said Earl Stoddard, director of Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Twice in recent days, ventilators have had to be transported between hospitals or from the county’s emergency management service to a hospital to accommodate a sudden surge of patients with respiratory difficulties, he said. Healthcare providers are reporting an uptick in patients at their intensive care units.

“We haven’t tipped the scale yet, but we’re seeing enough action to register that the surge is coming,” Stoddard said.

According to analysis by county staff, Montgomery needs to add about 600 hospital beds to prepare for an anticipated peak in cases. Officials recently toured the recently-closed Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park with the Army Corps of Engineers, and hope to quickly re-open the 178-bed facility.

“One of the biggest mistakes the federal government made was not identifying the testing manufacturers soon enough,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a virtual town hall on Thursday. “The [tests] are going to come but we’re going to hit a surge here before they come.”