Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.

The number of known coronavirus cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia was 45,076 on Friday, with 23,488 cases in Maryland, 16,926 in Virginia and 4,662 in the District. The number of virus-related deaths reached 1,199 in Maryland, 583 in Virginia and 232 in the District, for a total of 2,014 fatalities.

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

• Coronavirus deaths in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpassed 2,000 on Friday as the District recorded its largest number of daily infections. The three jurisdictions reported 85 new covid-19 fatalities, bringing the regional total past another grim milestone. A surge in known D.C. cases announced Friday coincides with the first day the city received more than 1,000 test results in a single day.

• A flight path was released Friday for the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds flyover through the D.C. and Baltimore regions Saturday. The flyover is meant to honor first responders and health care workers on the front-lines of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

• Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has estimated that the first phase of reopening could happen in early May, saying he is primarily focused on a downward trend in hospitalizations and intensive care unit bed use, neither of which has happened. A group called Reopen Maryland is planning a 150-mile trek across the state Saturday to demand that Hogan allow nonessential businesses to reopen.

10:30 p.m.
Link copied

The Live Blog is closed for the day

The Live Blog is closing on a day that brought a growing covid-19 death toll, and spikes across the region in infections. But those increases coincided with big jumps in testing. Read The Post’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus crisis in Virginia, Maryland and the District here.

9:10 p.m.
Link copied

Two local jails report increases in coronavirus cases

Two local jails are reporting increases in the number of coronavirus cases, officials said Friday.

The Prince George’s County detention center in Maryland has 18 inmates and 31 staff members who have tested positive, a spokesman for the jail wrote in an email Friday. Fifteen of the staff members have finished quarantine and returned to work.

The last time The Washington Post requested tallies, on April 21, the detention center had “about 17” inmates and 21 staff members who had tested positive for the virus.

The jail spokesman wrote the outbreak has not affected operations at the jail.

The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office reported that an additional inmate has tested positive for coronavirus at the county jail, bringing the total number of cases there to five. The inmate was still in a mandatory quarantine for all new inmates when he tested positive.

Five members of the Sheriff’s Office staff have tested positive, a spokeswoman said. That number remains unchanged from the previous week.

Jail operations have not been affected by the cases, officials said.

8:19 p.m.
Link copied

Some Northern Virginia golf courses to open May 8

Several golf courses and a skeet and trap shooting center will soon open in Northern Virginia, with park officials reasoning that these activities allow for safe social distancing.

The state of Virginia never ordered parks or golf courses to close, but in mid-March, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and area county governments voluntarily shuttered their facilities. Some private golf courses remained open.

Now officials have concluded that they can safely reopen and will do so on May 8, said Paul Gilbert, executive director of NOVA Parks.

“We always saw golf as one of those things that inherently has more social distancing built into it,” he said. “We always knew that would be the first thing to open.”

He said the agency has ordered enough supplies to allow for extra cleaning and personal protective equipment for staff. Golfers will be discouraged from sharing carts if they do not live together, Gilbert said. Modifications have been made meant to reduce the spread of germs: No flags will be in the holes, to avoid golfers’ pulling them out, and the holes will be raised so players do not have to reach into them to grab golf balls.

He added that the agency feels confident in opening because the number of hospitalizations for covid-19 is stable. “There is a higher level of comfort that the curve has been flattened to a good extent in the near term,” he said.

Gilbert said Fairfax County is planning to open some of its golf courses and Prince William County hopes to, though the plan has not been finalized. NOVA Parks will open two of its three courses — Pohick Bay Golf Course and Brambleton Golf Course, as well as Bull Run Shooting Center.

7:28 p.m.
Link copied

New testing site will cater to underserved D.C. wards

Howard University Hospital on Tuesday plans to open a testing site intended to serve District neighborhoods hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Residents of Wards 7 and 8, the city’s poorest, can make an appointment and obtain a test even if they have no risk factors or symptoms, said Hugh Mighty, dean of Howard University College of Medicine and vice president of clinical affairs.

“We need to screen everybody,” he said. “You want to know the negative as well as you want to know the positive. Unless we blanket the whole region with screening, we’re not going to know what we’re dealing with in terms of who is positive.”

Data show people of color and low-income residents are disproportionately impacted by covid-19 and are at higher risk for developing heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, which can exacerbate the virus, Mighty said.

The testing site will allow health-care providers to share information with patients about preventive care, how to manage underlying conditions and the availability of telemedicine when in-person appointments are not feasible.

Howard plans to test 100 people in the first week and grow to 200 people per week; LabCorp will process the samples, Mighty said. A $1 million grant from Bank of America funded start-up costs, he said.

“The mind-set is, ‘We have to win, period,’ ” Mighty said. “We win by applying the science, by doing some of the very basic things like handwashing to blunt and tamp down the impact of the virus. … Ultimately, the goal will be to get a vaccine. Until then, we have to follow the basic things, block and tackle.”

Howard has repurposed an existing clinic at 4414 Benning Rd. NE, Suite 2400, to test residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays. To make an appointment, call 202-865-2119 and press 3. A prescription is not necessary.

7:04 p.m.
Link copied

Outbreak expands amid Maryland poultry industry; CDC going plant to plant

The coronavirus outbreak tied to Eastern Shore poultry plants continues to expand, with workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traveling plant to plant Friday and the caseload rising, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced.

So far, 279 poultry workers have tested positive for the coronavirus That’s 17 additional cases since Hogan publicly raised alarm about potential food chain disruptions two days ago.

The outbreak has made rural Wicomico County, home to poultry giant Perdue Farms, one of Maryland’s most concerning hot spots. As of Friday, the county had the fourth-highest per capita caseload in the state, up from the fifth-highest the day before. The jurisdiction’s coronavirus caseload doubled from roughly 220 cases last Friday to 425 a week later. More than 100 cases have been detected in just the past four days.

Hogan announced a second public testing site will open in Caroline County, home to poultry workers who commute to two affected plants in Delaware. It joins a test site that opened Friday at Perdue Stadium, a minor league baseball park in Salisbury. “This remains a rapidly evolving situation,” Hogan said in a statement.

Salisbury is also the terminus of a statewide “Reopen Maryland” protest planned for Saturday, when people frustrated by prolonged social distancing measures plan to drive from Frederick to the Eastern Shore in hopes to pressure Hogan to lift the restrictions. The group wants to reverse the economic standstill created to slow down the spread of the virus, as well as reopen schools and churches, saying the measures are overly broad and socially destructive.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a physician, is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Reopen Maryland rally in Salisbury. His office declined an interview request Friday.

The CDC has sent teams to Delaware and the Virginia and Maryland eastern shores to help control the coronavirus outbreak in poultry houses on the peninsula. Public health officials have noted outbreaks in at least five plants.

6:24 p.m.
Link copied

The last time the government sought a ‘warp speed’ vaccine, it was a fiasco

The federal government has launched “Operation Warp Speed” to deliver a covid-19 vaccine by January, months ahead of standard vaccine timelines. The last time the government tried that, it was a fiasco.

Gerald Ford was president. It was 1976. Early that year, a mysterious new strain of swine flu turned up at Fort Dix in New Jersey. One Army private died. Many others became severely ill. The nation’s top infectious disease doctors were shaken.

Ford raced to come up with a response, consulting with Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, the scientists behind the polio vaccine, and in late March he announced an audacious plan for the federal government to both produce the vaccine and organize its distribution.

Read more here.

3:06 p.m.
Link copied

Virus deaths in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpass 2,000 as District records its largest number of daily infections

The District, Maryland and Virginia reported 85 new covid-19 fatalities Friday, bringing the regional total past 2,000.

A surge in known D.C. cases announced Friday coincides with the first day the city received more than 1,000 test results in a single day.

Maryland reported 52 new deaths, 29 of which were not listed with a known locality. It also added 1,730 new infections, the highest number this week. But the number of covid-19 patients currently hospitalized fell for the first time since Maryland started reporting these numbers. A total of 4,718 patients have required hospitalization in the state, 1,668 of whom remain in the hospital.

Virginia reported an additional 26 deaths for a total of 583 fatalities. The number of new hospitalizations in Virginia has hovered in the 90s for four days, including Friday, when the state posted 94 new covid-related hospitalizations.

The Washington Post count differs slightly from official state numbers because it includes fatalities that were dropped from the state totals without explanation.

The District added seven deaths, bringing its total to 232. The city also added 335 new infections, its largest single-day increase so far.

The surge in known D.C. cases coincides with the first day the District received more than 1,000 test results in a single day. City officials say rising positives with increased testing capacity is no surprise, which is why they are also watching to see whether the rate of test results returning positives falls below 5 percent. But that number has been steadily rising, surpassing 22 percent Friday.

2:27 p.m.
Link copied

Flyover maps show path Blue Angels, Thunderbirds will take Saturday in D.C. region

Flight paths were released Friday for the Navy Blue Angels’ and Air Force Thunderbirds’ flyovers through the D.C. and Baltimore regions Saturday. The flyovers are meant to honor first responders and health-care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

The flyover in the D.C. region is expected to start about 11:45 a.m. in Prince George’s County. The aircraft will then fly over the District near the Mall, follow the Potomac River north to Bethesda, circle part of Northwest Washington and then fly over Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties before returning through the District a second time near the Mall.

The flyover in the D.C. region will last about 20 minutes and follow a 15-minute flyover in the Baltimore area.

In a statement, Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, the Blue Angels’ commanding officer, called health-care workers “America’s ambassadors in blue.” He went on to say, “America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the front line day-in and day-out.”

A Saturday flyover is also planned in Atlanta. Other flyovers were done this week in New York and Philadelphia.

12:12 p.m.
Link copied

Comet Ping Pong survived Pizzagate. Can it survive the coronavirus?

Almost two months ago, it would have been inconceivable that Erika Mendoza would be handing out pizza boxes and cocktails in plastic cups on a Wednesday night. But there she stood on April 22, striped mask on, taking orders and telling customers to “please wait back there” as a bonfire flickered beside her.

“It feels so good to be here,” she said, the neon “COMET” sign glowing red above. “Like I’m alive again.”

Just weeks before, Mendoza, 29, had sunk into her couch after learning in an email she was out of a job — the coronavirus had forced D.C. restaurants to close to dine-in customers. Comet Ping Pong had hired her when she was 19 years old and barely able to speak English. Over the next 10 years she would work her way up to assistant manager, a job that enabled her to raise her three children mostly on her own.

But all at once, on March 15, the most constant part of her life vanished. She thought about all the bills she had to pay, and her kids.

“How could I tell them that Mommy didn’t have a job?” Mendoza recalled thinking.

But the Northwest Washington restaurant managed to reopen and called her back. When she returned, she found customers were still hungry and still loyal.

11:26 a.m.
Link copied

Covid-infected VA therapist suspected he was dying, friend says

At 11:21 a.m. on April 14, Caroline Csongos got a Facebook message from her old friend Calvin Richardson Jr., with whom she had worked for six years at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington.

He was in the hospital, he said, and he regretted to tell her that he had the coronavirus and was not doing well.

In hindsight, she said this week, she believes he knew he was dying and wanted to include her in the circle of friends whom he informed.

“He wanted the people he was close to to know,” she said. “I was grateful … That for me was a gift.”

Five days later she got a phone call that he had died in the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata, Md.

“Mr. Richardson,” as she said she always called him, worked with her in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program at the VA hospital. He was 57, she said. She had left the hospital in June after 14 years there as a psychotherapist.

10:12 a.m.
Link copied

D.C. day-care centers, shut out of stimulus money, struggle to hang on until children return

In March, when schools and day-care centers shut down abruptly, Violeta Chirino, a co-owner of Semillitas Early Learning Center, knew she had some cushion: Like most child-care operators, she’d already collected that month’s fees from families.

In April, as the shutdown stretched on, Chirino and her co-owner told families they didn’t need to pay tuition. But the center had to make payroll, they said, so they asked them to pay what they could — and managed to collect 55 percent of the month’s regular revenue.

But now, as May arrives, Chirino said there is only so much she can expect families — who are taking financial hits of their own — to pay for a service they aren’t receiving, beyond daily Zoom calls with teachers. She was rejected for federal stimulus money that would have covered two months of payroll, and she isn’t expecting a lifeline from the government anytime soon.

“Right now we are working with whatever parents are giving us and trying to stretch it as far as possible,” Chirino said.

She and other D.C. early-childhood centers say their finances are in shambles as closures due to the novel coronavirus stretch on, and many fear they will have to shut down before they get the chance to reopen. Even if they do manage to survive until the city reopens, they’re unsure how they’ll afford to adhere to the recommended health and social distancing guidelines, which would require ample protective equipment and fewer children in classrooms.

10:07 a.m.
Link copied

D.C. tenants plan rent strikes, hoping for city’s help as coronavirus shutdown continues

The rent is due again. So, too, are mortgage payments, utility payments, phone bills.

In a nation where an unprecedented number of Americans are applying for unemployment assistance — 30.3 million in the past six weeks — paying the bills has become a daunting task for many.

With evictions banned during the coronavirus pandemic in the nation’s capital, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) advised tenants this week to “stay current” on rental payments “to the best of your ability.”

But the D.C. Tenants Union is offering renters different advice: to strike.

Tenant organizations in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to Philadelphia have prodded renters to withhold rent payments come Friday. The strikes are unlike buildingwide ones that traditionally have been used to force the hand of property owners and management companies on issues such as maintenance, safety and rent prices. These citywide strikes, organizers said, are meant to push lawmakers to enact more robust renter relief through the pandemic.

“People are scared to tell management what’s really going on,” said Larissa Abrego, 19, an out-of-work restaurant server who helped write a letter to her apartment building owner asking for rent forgiveness. “If they don’t want to help us, we’re going to strike.”