Maryland reported its biggest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases on Saturday morning — 219 new cases, before the cases in the nursing home were recorded hours later — and Virginia saw another substantial jump — 135 — the states’ health departments said. Maryland now has 1,058 reported cases, and Virginia has 740, by The Washington Post’s count.
On Saturday night, Maryland officials reported more bad news: the outbreak at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Carroll County. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in a statement that 11 residents are hospitalized, and 55 more are sick.
Rebecca Travels, administrator of the nursing home, referred requests for comment to the Carroll County Health Department.
The District also reported 38 new cases Saturday night, bringing the city’s total to 346, by The Post’s count. New patients who tested positive in the District included 15 people in their 20s and 30s and a man who is 98.
The most recent Maryland deaths included the first two fatalities in Baltimore — a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s, Mayor Bernard “Jack” C. Young (D) said Saturday — as well as a beloved Prince George’s County high school basketball coach and school counselor.
Terrance Burke, who worked at Northwestern High in Hyattsville, was known for helping the most troubled students. School officials said he died on Friday.
His death came as a shock to his five children, who said he had asthma but was otherwise healthy — working out regularly and eating well. The 54-year-old had been sick for about two weeks, they said.
After he fell ill, he told his daughter Chanel Parker that he would take a trip to Jamaica when he got better.
Burke’s youngest daughter, Arnetha Burke, is a kindergarten teacher at Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary in Prince George’s County — she wanted to follow in his footsteps. She said her father “really saved a lot of people and influenced a lot of people to get out off the streets and play basketball.”
Hasani Hill, now 26, was one of those people. He recalled that he failed to make the basketball team, but Burke told him he would let him play if he could outdo all of the other players in practice. It was an encounter that changed the trajectory of Hill’s life.
“From there,” Hill said, “he just kept watching out for me.”
When Hill could not afford basketball shoes, Burke gave him his own. When Hill got in trouble with the law, Burke convinced his parole officer to allow him to play basketball instead of entering a diversion program. Hill, who is now pursuing acting in Southern California, credits Burke with steering him toward “a better path in life.”
Arnetha Burke said she plans to pursue a master’s degree so she can become a school counselor like her father.
D.C. jail officials and the Maryland National Guard each reported new confirmed cases of the virus.
Late Saturday, jail officials announced that four inmates at the facility have tested positive. Earlier, officials said a 20-year-old had tested positive on Wednesday. Late Friday, they said a 44-year-old man who was housed in the jail’s Correctional Treatment Facility, the same facility that held the 20-year-old, had tested positive. Jail officials said the two inmates were not in the same unit. A 37-year-old and a 38-year-old, both also housed in the treatment facility, were added to the list of positive cases Saturday. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Keena Blackmon said in a statement that the two men are being treated and have been isolated from other inmates.
The Army said Saturday that a member of the Maryland National Guard has tested positive for covid-19.
The National Guard is helping set up triage and testing sites at FedEx Field in Landover and in Baltimore. Guard members are also distributing food.
The soldier who tested positive is in isolation, and about 20 members in the soldier’s unit have been quarantined, spokesman Benjamin Hughes said in a statement, which did not say where the soldier was stationed.
While soldiers and health-care workers confronted the virus head-on and readied the region for worsening impacts that Maryland and Virginia’s governors have warned could still come as medical supplies run low, citizens across the region stayed home on this unusual spring weekend.
They had been told that staying inside is the best thing they can do for the sake of public health: Avoiding crowds will slow the spread of the virus. To cut down on opportunities for groups to gather, the National Park Service announced the closure of additional playgrounds, visitor centers and other facilities in the D.C. region Saturday.
Maryland’s state parks, which had already cordoned off playgrounds and picnic shelters and reduced spaces in parking lots, announced that all beaches in the parks would be closed indefinitely. In Baltimore, the Department of Recreation and Parks took down basketball hoops and tennis nets to get people to stop recreating in groups.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested a man Friday night in Hughesville for violating the state order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. The man, whose name was not immediately available, declined to comply with the order to disperse a large group at a bonfire at his house.
On Friday night, on one block of 18th Street NW in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, a dozen or so people stepped out of their rowhouses — carefully staying six feet apart from one another. There, they whooped and cheered to show their gratitude for health-care workers — including one of their neighbors.
Rose Conklin, a nurse in George Washington University Hospital’s emergency room, decided this week to stay in an apartment with co-workers rather than risk infecting her husband and 3-year-old daughter. It’s been hard, her husband, Jairo Valencia, said: They are considering having her come visit in the backyard, but even a short visit may be more painful, if Conklin cannot embrace their daughter Dahlia.
So he listened as his neighbors came out into the street to applaud the family’s sacrifice on Friday night: “Yeah, health-care workers!”
Keith L. Alexander, Martin Weil and Justin Jouvenal contributed to this report.