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Coronavirus caseload in Washington region hits single-day record

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Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia reported by far the highest single-day total for new coronavirus cases Friday, with 6,985 new infections.

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Before Friday, the record number of new cases in the greater Washington region was 5,522, seen Nov. 25. The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the area - a metric that lags infections - has also continued to climb.

Maryland also 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. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan 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 the state is also seeing a record number of residents taking coronavirus tests.

There were 2,877 new cases reported Friday in Virginia and 316 new cases in Washington.

Of the three jurisdictions, Washington saw the biggest increase in new cases this week from the week before, reporting 37 percent more cases. 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 in Maryland ticked up 11 percent from last week and 16 percent in Virginia.

There was one coronavirus-related death reported Friday in Washington. There were 26 new deaths reported in Maryland and 13 in Virginia. The total deaths reported Friday across the three jurisdictions was slightly lower than in recent days.

There have now been a total of 9,643 deaths and 479,051 cases reported since the pandemic began.

Also Friday, the attorneys general of Virginia and Washington D.C. sent a letter asking Congress to ensure everyone living in the United States can obtain a covid-19 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 properly fund programs for the uninsured so they do not have to pay administrative fees.

"It is so important that every single Virginian and every single American has access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we have seen this virus disproportionately devastate Black, Brown, and lower-income communities and we must make sure these individuals are able to get these potentially life-saving vaccines."

Published : December 05, 2020

By : The Washington Post · Rachel Chason