Christmas Eve finds DC region in worst virus straits since pandemic began

The D.C. region is getting hit harder with new cases of COVID-19 now than at any other point during the pandemic.

Virginia recorded its highest number of new cases ever on Christmas Eve, with over 4,800 new confirmed cases and 31 recorded deaths. Hospitalizations are also on the rise in the commonwealth, with around 2,500 hospitalizations recorded each day.

Maryland had 60 deaths reported Thursday, and the state has reported over 2,000 new cases per day since late November.

D.C. saw five deaths and 210 cases on Thursday.

There has been some good news in time for the holidays, as Virginia and Maryland have begun reporting their vaccination rates.

More than 31,000 Virginians and 14,000 Marylanders have received the first dose of their vaccine.

Despite the spike in cases and warnings from local and public health officials to stay home for the holidays, over 1.19 million travelers went through U.S. airport security checkpoints Wednesday, the highest one-day total since the pandemic really hit in mid-March, The Associated Press reported.

The nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he is particularly worried about travel between Christmas and New Year’s. Fauci turned 80 on Christmas Eve, and he said he and his wife would be celebrating his birthday and the holidays with family on Zoom.

“We have a big problem,” Fauci told The Washington Post. “Look at the numbers — the numbers are really quite dramatic.”

More than 327,000  people have died in the U.S. during the pandemic, with over 3,000 deaths per day repeatedly recorded over the past two weeks.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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