D.C., Maryland and Virginia recorded more than 1,600 new coronavirus cases over a 24-hour period, marking another jump in cases Thursday.
In the past two days, the three jurisdictions have recorded more than 3,500 new cases and nearly 50 deaths.
“The warning lights are all blinking right now,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Sharfstein pointed to enormous surges happening in other parts of the U.S., saying that has helped push the local numbers up as people travel around and spread the virus further.
“It should be a major concern,” Sharfstein said. “It doesn’t take a genius to look at what’s happened in other states and say, ‘It could happen here.'”
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During a news conference Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan discouraged people from traveling out of state. “Any Marylander who is traveling to or is returning from travel out-of-state, especially from those states that are experiencing spiking numbers, should get tested,” he said.
Maryland health officials said Thursday that the state had recorded 648 new cases and six deaths over a 24-hour period.
During that same period of time, Virginia health officials said they recorded 904 new cases and 15 deaths.
“We’re seeing increasing numbers of infections, particularly among younger people,” Sharfstein said. “As we’ve opened up more, people have gone out and not everybody has been careful.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told reporters Tuesday that “a lot of that increase is driven by people socializing without wearing masks.”
He said the coronavirus caseload in Northern Virginia was down and that the state’s spikes were primarily in the eastern region.
In D.C., Thursday’s figures showed that the District added 50 new cases and three deaths over a 24-hour period. That marked the second day in a row that D.C. saw three new coronavirus deaths.
Before that, the District had a streak of five days without any reported virus-related deaths.