Coronavirus: DC area cases top 2,000; Northam secures federal funding for Va. National Guard

President Donald Trump sends off the U.S. Navy hospital ship “Comfort” on Saturday afternoon in Virginia.

The latest

  • D.C. announces its 5th death related to COVID-19.
  • Maryland had 992 confirmed cases as of Saturday morning, an increase of 218 since Friday’s report and a record for most cases recorded there in a single day. Over 11,000 Marylanders have tested negative since the outbreak began, revealed in testing data released for the first time.
  • Virginia added 135 new cases, putting its total at 739. D.C.’s numbers are now at 342 after 38 new cases were reported Saturday night.
  • 10 Marylanders have died of COVID-19 as of Saturday evening, doubling the state’s death toll.
  • President Trump was in Virginia Saturday to send off a hospital ship to New York City. Earlier in the day, he tweeted his interest in placing a quarantine on certain parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “I don’t even know what that means … and I don’t like the sound of it.”
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the Department of Defense authorized his request to financially back the state’s National Guard. The authorization memo “enables your timely use of the National Guard to save lives and protect public health and safety.”
  • See the previous day’s coronavirus updates.

Maryland death toll doubles

Five more people have died due to coronavirus in Maryland, doubling the state’s death toll to 10. The news from the Maryland State Department of Health was announced in a tweet by Governor Larry Hogan’s Communications Director Mike Ricci:

National Park Service issues regional guidance

The National Capital area of the National Park Service, which includes the District, Maryland and Virginia, posted guidance Saturday about a reduction in services due to the coronavirus outbreak. In a release, the park service said national parks in the “Greater Washington area will only perform functions that are essential to visitor and resource protection.”

That means visitors shouldn’t expect all services to be open, including some campgrounds, playgrounds, restrooms, visitor centers, parking lots and even water fountains. Permitted events are canceled indefinitely.

The park service asks visitors to check individual park websites to find out the status of these resources, as they will vary by location. If you do go out to a park that remains open, be sure to follow the CDC guidelines on remaining healthy while in an area frequented by many people.

Region’s cases pass 2,000

With Maryland’s announcement of 228 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday morning, the number of confirmed cases in the District, Maryland and Virginia rose to 2,035.

See WTOP’s tracker of the number of cases, updated as information is released each day.

Maryland State Park beaches now closed

While most Maryland State Parks continue to be open during the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Natural Resources tweeted an alert Saturday morning saying that state beaches will be closed per the Gov. Larry Hogan’s order to reduce social interaction.

Earlier in March, the department said all parks, aside from the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park in Church Creek, Maryland would remain open.

Trump signs stimulus

Late Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package to support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic.

Washington moved urgently to stem an economic free fall caused by widespread restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus that have shuttered schools, closed businesses and brought American life in many places to a virtual standstill.

More Coronavirus News

Prince George’s County reports death of coach/counselor

Terrance Burke, the basketball coach and a counselor at Northwestern High School, died due to coronavirus, the county reported on Saturday.

“I know this news is devastating and shocking to many in the Northwestern High School community and all who knew and loved him,” The county schools’ CEO Monica Goldson said in a news release. “Please join me in extending our deepest sympathies to Mr. Burke’s family, friends, colleagues and the countless young lives that he impacted during his many years at Northwestern High School and throughout the PGCPS community.”

Goldson’s message said psychologists and counselors will be available for students and staff members who need consoling due to the news.

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Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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