The region’s seven-day average of new cases Friday was 4,972, just shy of a record set last week. It comes as coronavirus hospitalizations in the area — a metric that lags infections — also have marched upward.
Maryland recorded a single-day high Friday of 3,792 new cases, while the test positivity rate reached 8 percent, the state’s highest since June. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) tweeted Friday to urge residents to get tested, avoid gatherings, wear a mask and wash their hands.
“The promise of a vaccine has given us a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have dark days ahead,” Hogan wrote, adding that a record number of residents also are taking coronavirus tests.
There were 2,877 new cases reported Friday in Virginia and 316 in the District.
Of the three jurisdictions, D.C. saw the biggest increase in new cases this week compared with the week before, a 37 percent rise. Its seven-day average of 220 daily cases on Friday was a record.
The number of hospitalizations in the nation’s capital reached 194, up 30 percent from the week before, with 51 intensive care unit beds occupied. The number of hospitalizations ticked up 11 percent in the past week in Maryland and 16 percent in Virginia.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Friday that city residents and businesses generally have done a good job of adhering to new guidelines, including limiting indoor gatherings to 10 residents and stopping alcohol sales at restaurants after 10 p.m.
“We are all a little weary, and we need reminders,” she said on “The Politics Hour” on WAMU 88.5. “Especially in familiar settings, around familiar people.”
D.C. had one virus-related death reported Friday, while there were 26 new deaths in Maryland and 13 in Virginia. The region has recorded 9,643 deaths and 479,051 infections since the pandemic began.
Virginia Department of Health officials said Friday they are preparing to receive 480,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of December.
Officials expect to receive the first shipment of 72,150 doses from Pfizer, then weekly shipments will be divided between health-care personnel and long-term-care residents. Most long-term-care residents will be vaccinated on site by teams at CVS and Walgreens.
Local leaders in Northern Virginia wrote to the state’s congressional delegation Friday to express support for a proposed $908 billion stimulus plan that gained the support this week of top congressional Democrats and several senior Senate Republicans.
They called the package imperfect but “an important down payment on what will be required to address the impacts of this pandemic on our communities,” including for rent and mortgage relief, businesses, food assistance and coronavirus testing.
“You have all expressed your support for our local governments and as you know the recovery of our region, Commonwealth and country will only occur by collectively working together,” wrote the leaders of jurisdictions that include Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria.
Bowser said on “The Politics Hour” that she is heartened the bill includes funding for state and local governments, noting that local budgets have been devastated during the pandemic.
“I don’t know of any jurisdiction that is going to go into their next budget cycle without having to make some serious trade-offs,” she said.
In Maryland, authorities said Friday that law enforcement worked with health officials to prevent a 9-year-old boy who tested positive for the coronavirus from boarding a plane last week at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.
State Police Sgt. Travis Nelson said police received a call from the Wicomico County Health Department about 3 p.m. on Nov. 24, warning that a child was planning to board a plane to Puerto Rico at 4:15 p.m.
Police contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority, which monitors the airport, and its officers tracked down the mother and child within minutes. The health department issued a legal order for isolation for the boy and an order to quarantine for his mother.
A health department spokeswoman did not immediately return a call Friday about whether the mother was aware of the child’s positive test.
Nelson said the action taken by the health and public safety officers is part of a coordinated effort to slow the spread of the virus.
“We’ve had a lot of events like this to occur,” he said, including shutting down a large retailer in Prince George’s County after reports it was over its occupancy limit.
He said one Southern Maryland health department saw on the website of a couple who had tested positive for the coronavirus that they were getting married. Police called the venue and learned the couple had canceled a large reception. The health department then kept in touch with the couple to make sure they didn’t plan other celebrations with family.
Also Friday, the attorneys general of Virginia and the District sent a letter asking Congress to ensure access to a coronavirus vaccine, when it becomes available, at no cost. The letter, signed by a coalition of attorneys general, asks Congress to codify an interim rule providing the vaccine to Medicare recipients at no cost and to fund programs for the uninsured so they do not have to pay administrative fees.
Lola Fadulu and Antonio Olivo contributed to this report.