March 10, 2020
Photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed
The coronavirus continues to spread around the world, and as the number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus rises in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, local government and school officials are stepping up to contain the spread of the virus.
Ten cases have been confirmed in the D.C. area, but that number is sure to rise. In fact, at least three schools in the District — one public high school and two charter schools — were closed Monday as a result of fears relating to the virus.
To date, Virginia has confirmed 3 cases of the virus, while Maryland has confirmed 6, and the District has confirmed 1. The one case in the District has caused particular concern, as the infected person is Rev. Timothy Cole, who held church services at Christ Church Georgetown in the District for 550 people last week. Those 550 congregants have been self-quarantining since the notification that Cole had tested positive for the coronavirus. Cole is quarantined and reportedly in stable condition.
There are also 12 Maryland residents currently aboard the virus-infected Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of California. Despite experiencing no symptoms, the individuals are being properly examined and quarantined.
One of the diagnosed victims in Maryland also recently went to attend an event at the Village at Rockville, a retirement community, where as many as 100 people attended the event. None of the attendees have tested positive for the virus yet, but they are being closely monitored.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has urged individuals who visited the Village between noon and 6 p.m. on February 28 to contact the state Emergency Management Agency at 410-517-3720. In Virginia, residents are urged to call 1-877-ASK-VDH3, or the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511. In the District, residents are encouraged to visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov for assistance.
In regards to testing capacity, the District is heavily investing to ensure a sufficient amount of resources. Public testing labs in Virginia, Maryland, and the District are able to test for the virus, with wait times of only a few hours. Many private labs have also begun testing, opening more opportunities region-wide for those who feel they may be infected.
Officials from every state have also reiterated the need for residents to visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for any questions or concerns.
DMV CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES:
- For Maryland: Emergency Management Agency at 410-517-3720
- For Virginia: 1-877-ASK-VDH3, or the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511
- For DC: https://coronavirus.dc.gov
Wendy Thompson contributed to this article.